Editor, Townsman:

As the residents of Andover now know, the town manager has proposed the renovation of the senior center as one of the town’s two top priorities in the FY 2020 Capital Improvement Plan. Seniors and boomers are forecast to grow to represent 38 percent of Andover’s population by 2030.

Today’s active older adults are redefining quality of life and healthy aging. The Senior Center at Punchard empowers our older citizens and enhances their quality of life and feeling of self-worth by promoting healthy aging, independence, life-long learning and the physical, social and emotional well-being of adults age 50 and over and those with disabilities.

The center improves and enriches their lives through caring service with opportunities for social interaction among their peers and the community, recreation, basic support and needs, services, culture, entertainment, education, volunteerism and community activism.

I’ve heard a number of residents ask, “Is this renovation really necessary?”

In my opinion it is. Putting aside the fact that the building itself is over 82 years old and was converted from a school to a senior center operation more than 35 years ago without major renovation, the center has maxed out its ability to add programming. It simply cannot add more classes, groups or events to its calendar of activities. There is no more space. In light of the forecast increases over the next 10, 20 and 30 years in the population it serves, the center will be unable to accommodate the expected increase in demand.

The proposed renovation would add 33 percent more floor space to the center as well as reconfigure all the existing space, making it much more useable. The proposed renovation and expansion will enable the center to deliver services much more effectively and efficiently to this very important segment of our population for many decades to come.

Don’t you think our seniors deserve a renovated senior center?

I do.

 

Paul MacKay

21 Fossen Way

Andover

 

 

 

 

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