Rochester Senior Center presents plan for expansion
ROCHESTER – The Rochester Senior Center is taking “baby steps” toward expansion, as described by Council on Aging Director Eric Poulin.
He presented plans to the select board at their meeting on Monday, June 6, and asked for permission to move forward with finding an architect to set the design process in motion. This was unanimously approved by the select board.
Because the building and grounds are under the jurisdiction of the select board, Poulin has to check in with them and get approval throughout the expansion process.
“[The town has] been discussing this expansion for at least ten years,” said Poulin, who explained the process of forming a building subcommittee, coming up with concept for expansion, and presenting it to the board at the senior center.
“As many of you know, if you have attended meals it gets quite crowded,” said Poulin, describing the need for the expansion. “More activities have been added and we are rearranging the room several times a day.”
He explained that due to lack of space for exercise classes, those classes are often going on at the same time and in the same space as lunches and meals.
While the senior center has put together a plan, the architect that they will hire will take a look at it and put together designs that are up to code and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The architect would also be able to estimate the cost of the expansion.
Poulin said that they were not asking the town for any money at this time. The cost of the architect was estimated to be $25,000 to $30,000 and the funding would be provided by the Friends of the Rochester Senior Center, who have been doing fundraising for this project.
He said that an architect could be selected as soon as their board meeting on Wednesday, June 8.
With the expansion, Poulin said that they would be able to increase programming, put employee offices together that are currently scattered through the building, and have check-in located at the front entrance. Currently, visitors have to walk further into the building to check in, because there is no place for it at the front.
“Cost is a big question,” said Poulin. “So, we have to figure that out now by hiring a professional to see how much that’s going to be.”