Study reveals potential sites for new Brimfield senior center

BRIMFIELD – An overview of the results of the senior center feasibility study was presented by Steve McCallister of Clark & ​​Green Architecture and John O’Leary of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission at the board meeting from Brimfield Select on August 15th.

McCallister shared that they had studied the feasibility of a new senior center at two sites: Old Town Hall and New Holland Road.

He added that a demographic and operational analysis was carried out by Ballard King Associates. “We looked at zoning, access, utilities, environmental constraints, [capacity], etc. said McCallister. They then developed a senior center concept plan for each site along with a cost estimate.

Based on their findings, McCallister said both sites are feasible, however, the Old Town Hall provides space for other uses outside of a seniors center, while the New Holland site Road is “big enough for a seniors-only center” because it’s a 24-acre parcel.
McCallister explained that Ballard King conducted a demographic analysis, programming and operations survey. In this survey, 88% of the responses came from the local population, all of whom participate in various programs offered by the center for the elderly.

According to the survey, he said the biggest offerings older people want include a kitchen and group exercise space. From there, Ballard King made program recommendations, including an administrative suite, lobby, stage, commercial kitchen, fitness room, gymnasium, and large and small meeting rooms, to name a few. name a few.

He went on to say that the survey was advertised to seniors who attend the center’s programs, as well as any other interested residents.

McCallister shared images of floor plans for both spaces and talked about parking, restrooms, water sources, and more.

Comparing the total costs of each project, the Old City Hall – for a renovation and an addition – would cost $8.3 million. On New Holland Road, for a new building on a new site, the cost would be $8.5 million.

As the results of the feasibility study are taking a long time to unpack, Martin Kelly, Chairman of the Select Board, asked if they could have more time to review and consider their options.

Council member George Adams suggested the idea of ​​forming a building committee to consider an alternate location for the city offices and senior center. He added that he would like the current building committee to suspend funding for any further projects until they review this one.

Kelly agreed and said they shouldn’t spend any money until they had a better idea of ​​what they were dealing with.

Charles Kuss, chief of police and chairman of the building committee, disagreed and said there was no need to form another when the current committee can do the job.

Adams said it wouldn’t hurt to “have a fresh eye” and bring new ideas to the table.

Based on several other opportunities presented to the board, Kelly reiterated that the committee should suspend funding for future expenses for the time being. When a motion was presented to stop spending, the board unanimously approved it.

Openness to the Conservation Commission

Kelly said Brimfield had a vacancy on the Conservation Commission now that member Gary Watts had resigned.

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