SOUTHINGTON - Construction of the new townâ€™s new senior center should finish on time and on budget by the end of February, according to Paul Champagne, chairman of the Calendar House Building Committee.
The new facility has been three years in the making. The project was approved at referendum in 2015 and ground was broken last March.
Final cleanup and demolition of the old Calendar House will begin in March, Champagne said.
The new senior center will have 24,000 square feet of usable space compared to about 10,000 at the Calendar House, and the halls and rooms will be more spacious.
Champagne noted that the old senior center included several additions made over the years and didnâ€™t make optimal use of its space.
Ricardo Anderson, project superintendent for KBE Building Corp., showed a reporter around the nearly finished building Tuesday.
It will have multiple bathrooms with showers, backup generators to allow the building to be used as a shelter, a full kitchen area with storage, an office area, a fitness room, a library, a computer room, a lounge with pool and table tennis tables, and a multipurpose room for events.
â€śRight now all thatâ€™s left to do is, as they say in the industry, the FF and E work - furnishing, fixings and equipment,â€ť said Champagne on Tuesday. â€śThe plumbing, the electrical, the floors and the ceilings are all done. We arenâ€™t letting residents in yet, but we are doing everything we can to keep them informed as we go. There will be a period of time when we have to move members out, but during that time, we have partnered with the Plainville Senior Center to allow our members to eat their lunches over there. â€ť
Champagne said the new building will have a walking path surrounding it, connecting to a back parking lot, and a circular drop-off area in front.
â€śWe had to dip a little into the contingency fund for small things like extending the sidewalk and building a shed, but we had about $500,000 of wiggle room,â€ť said Champagne. â€śWeâ€™ve used maybe thousands of that, not even tens of thousands.â€ť
Champagne thanked others who have served on the all-volunteer Calendar House Building Committee for all of the work they put in.
â€śThey met monthly or sometimes twice a month and contributed their time, effort and professional expertise to this project, all free of charge,â€ť said Champagne.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.