I have been participating in exercise classes and have attended many other courses and programs at the Senior Center over the past 18 years. Within the rigid walls and existing corridors of the former school that the Center occupies, the ability to create a welcoming and functional physical space is not possible. Senior Center staff are dedicated, energetic and creative in arranging for activities to meet the needs and enhance the lives of seniors and their families, but the physical set-up that has to be re-configured daily severely limits the number and variety of offerings.
Now we have a solution. A careful and thorough planning process conducted over many months has resulted in a firm $4.5 million requested appropriation and designs for the space that achieve the identified goals. Among other things, it will increase the usable program space by 3,754 square feet, modernize and consolidate the kitchen area, and allow designated spaces for exercise, and ping pong and pool tables that can remain up all the time. The planning process also includes identifying locations for all the current activities offered by the Center while the building is closed for renovations. Of special note is that over $300,000 has already been raised from donations—individuals, businesses and foundations all see this as a project worthy of their support.
A renovated Senior Center with bright, functional, accessible and welcoming space will enable a full range of services to be provided for our growing senior population. With new showers, it will also be able to serve as a true shelter during lengthy power outages and storm-related crises.
Seniors have overwhelmingly supported school budgets, long after their own children have moved on, which in my case was 1981.
Now seniors deserve the support of the whole town for the Senior Center renovations.
I urge Andover voters to come to Town Meeting on April 29 and vote "yes" on Articles 24 and 25.
104 High Plain Road