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Griswold Senior Center seeks architectural designs for new building

Griswold Senior Center seeks architectural designs for new building

The Griswold Senior Center has started the preliminary design phase for its new building.


Senior Center Director Tina Falck said a request for proposal for architecture designs has been sent. The deadline for architects to submit proposals is Oct. 1.


In April 2012, the State Bond Commission allocated $343,500 to provide a grant-in-aid to the town to pay for the design and construction of a 3,000 square foot addition to the senior center at 22 Soule St. in JewettCity.


Town officials determined in March that there wasn’t enough room at the existing site for an addition. The State Bond Commission allowed the town to put the money toward the design and construction of a new center.


Officials hope to build the new center adjacent to the McCluggage Manor elderly housing complex at 242 Taylor Hill Road in Griswold.


“But there’s a lot of plans and testing before that is definite,” Falck said.


She said the town is also open to ideas about the building.


“We’re not firm on our expectation and designs are fluid,” Falck said. “But I do know we’ve seriously outgrown our current space.”


She said the center is used by more people than just seniors. Residents come in to fill out applications for energy assistance and for food stamps. The number of visitors in 2014 was more than 13,900, she said. McCluggage Manor is completing $800,000 in renovations at its 30 unit independent living facility. Recently, the Griswold Housing Authority received $260,000 to start pre-development plans to build 25 new apartments in a three story building on the property.


“We want to have the senior center and the apartments all in the same place so it becomes almost one stop shopping for residents. They’ll have a short trip from their homes to the center,” First Selectman Kevin Skulczyck said.

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Ideally, Falck would like the new center to be a two-storey building with separate rooms for its various classes and programs.


“We’d like to answer phones without music or line dancing in the background,” Falck said.


The existing center has two office areas and a kitchen used to serve lunch. The center largely consists of a main room where dance and exercise classes, crafting and dining take place around a group of tables.


“We’re really not looking for an elaborate design and we don’t envision anything like a big entranceway or a big welcome area. We want a good, functional space.”

Debbi Golas said she’d also like to see separate rooms with doors so various activities can take place simultaneously without disturbance.


“We have a card-making class while the dancing class is going on and it just gets so loud in here,” she said.


Mildred Larkin said she’d like to see an exercise room with bikes and other equipment and maybe a hairdressing room.


Whatever the design, Falck said she wants to make sure the facility retains its closeness and intimacy.


“It’s very comfortable for seniors,” she said. “We don’t want to lose that feeling.”

— norwichbulletin

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