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$500,000 for New Senior Center Recommended

The Finance Committee recommended the City Council put $500,000 towards design of a new $7 million senior center.

Finance Committee members spoke in favor of the new $7 million senior center proposed to be built in Ward Park prior to unanymously recommending the City Council approve $500,000 towards the design of the center.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about moving this project forward," said Mayor Arthur Vigeant as he adressed the committee.

He explained that the decision on the location had been years in the making after exploring many other options. A civil engineer has done an initial evaluation of the property, while the city solicitor confirmed that the city would be able to build on the property. The $500,000 would go towards securing an Owner's Project Manager and ensuring the work can move forward as fast as possible, said Mayor Vigeant.

Committee Member Joseph Delano asked that the council be involved in the design before it moves too far along for input.

Member Matt Eldridge said that while he does have constituents who are concerned about the location, overall he and many in the area are in favor of the project. He said he would want discussions with residents in the area to be ongoing to obtain their feedback on the project.

Committee Chair Michael Ossing said that this comes at a good time for the city financially.

"I think we are in a position where we can afford it with a minimum impact on the taxpayer,” he said.

The mayor said this will also be a good opportunity for the sports programs that take place at the park. There will be meetings going forward to discuss options for sports programs throughout the city, said Mayor Vigeant.

"They have outgrown ward park over the last few years," he said of the football program in particular. "That is a great opportunity to move them."

Committee Member Mark Oram said this is an opportunity for the community and sports. Recently completed senior centers that have features for community members of all ages were mentioned by various councilors throughout the meeting. This could be an opportunity to have sports facilities on the first floor, said Oram as an example.

"I look at this as an opportunity," he said.

The money order could be presented to the council for a vote as early as their Dec. 3 meeting.

Heather Gould December 03, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I think we should do 1 last festival there, just for old times' sake.. I think the community would agree. I totally miss Ward park on Labor day weekend!!!
Concerned Mom December 03, 2012 at 02:40 PM
"They have outgrown ward park over the last few years," he said of the football program in particular. "That is a great opportunity to move them." And where is this location Mr. Mayor? When will we hear those of plans? Are you planning on building new fields with new facilities? Have there been studies to find out how many seniors would even use this $8M facility?
Dom December 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I love how the Mayor is going to figure out all of these problems "later"...
Chrissy December 04, 2012 at 05:08 AM
After attending the Council meeting tonight I do not trust the Park will benefit from the Center's new location. Please stay informed to learn about attending a public meeting to voice your concerns about moving the Senior Center into Ward Park directly to the Mayor. Even though the funds have been approved we cannot give up and should take the opportunity to be heard. Contact your Ward Councilor and stay involved!!!!!!
resident December 12, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Public meeting about this is Wed the 19th 7:00 Memorial Hall (3rd floor City Hall) While the article above speaks to the perceived positives of constructing a 13,000 square foot two story building on what has been public playground land for over 90 years, I'd like to present a few negatives: Building on public playground land takes away space for parents to play baseball with their children, bocce with friends, walk over to play cricket, and ice skating. (A wonderful addition new this Winter!) Space is taken away from organized youth sports activities like the AYF program and I also don't see how this is a "great opportunity" for them. This space is not only taken away from today's residents, but from all future generations of Marlborough's youth. It wont be undone. Is this really a good idea? Building in a small and residential area will lower the quality of life for many with traffic, parking, overcrowding, and noise, during construction and for as long as the building stands. Why should residents of that neighborhood be asked to make such a large sacrifice? I would say a large percentage of them bought their house specifically because of the adjacent open land. The city is asking too much of them, surely they can come up with a more sensible location. Decreasing property values for many. It is not fair to ask residents to give up thousands of their hard earned dollars.

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