Thursday, January 28, 2016

Update- Longmeadow Adult Center Feasibility and Design Study

Lots of progress on this project.  It is time to form a Select Board Committee to oversee the efforts toward renovation and/ or construction of a new Longmeadow Adult Center.

At the May 2014 Annual Town Meeting, Article #30- (by citizen petition) was approved requesting $35,000 for a feasibility study of options to provide suitable space and facilities for the Longmeadow Council on Aging Center. The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission was engaged to begin the study and submitted results at a cost of approximately $10,000.   An analysis of new building vs. renovation of existing building was completed. 

At the May 2015 Annual Town Meeting Article #24 (by citizen petition) was approved "to engage an architect and/or engineer to do further cost analysis of 2 sites for the purpose of identifying a recommended location to house truly suitable space and suitable facility for the Longmeadow Adult Community Center".

Most recent efforts have been under the auspices of a Town Manager "Task Force" which has functioned in much the same manner as the recent TM Task Force for the new DPW Facility.  While meetings are open to the public, TM Task Force groups are not required to post meeting notices/ agendas, minutes or any updates of their efforts.

On Monday, I was visiting the Adult Center and discovered that this TM Task Force was meeting and decided to attend (meetings are open to the public).  At this meeting there were two representatives in attendance from Dietz & Company Architects, Inc.- a prominent architectural firm involved with construction of many senior citizen facilities who discussed the details of their recently issued report (Longmeadow Adult Center: Feasibility Study and Design Study) considering 4 different sites (expansion + renovation of Greenwood Center + a new facility at three different locations in Turner Park).

Below are site drawings showing each of the four options:
Greenwood Park Option [click image to enlarge]

Turner Park- Option #1 [click image to enlarge]
Turner Park- Option #2 [click image to enlarge]
Turner Park- Option #3 [click image to enlarge]

Floor plans for the Greenwood Park renovation + expansion proposal vs. the three identical Turner Park proposed facilities in different locations are shown below:
Greenwood Park Renovation + Expansion [click drawing to enlarge]

Turner Park Facility [click drawing to enlarge]

Below are the comparative costs that have been developed by Dietz & Company Architects, Inc. 

It should be highlighted that the Greenwood Center renovation + expansion cost estimate includes upgrades of portions of the existing building that are not part of current or proposed Adult Center.  These upgrades including electrical, handicap access, etc. would be required by the state of Massachusetts.

It should also be pointed out that the cost estimates shown in the table below are not total project costs since they do not include FFE (furnishings, fixtures and equipment) or any "soft" costs such as permitting, etc.  It appears likely that all-inclusive costs for each of the four proposals will exceed $10 million.

Comparative Costs [click table to enlarge]
This project has certainly emerged from a concept stage to one that should be placed on the agenda for future capital expenditures side-by-side with the new DPW facility and the new/ renovated middle schools. 

There are certainly challenges ahead for each of the proposed options. 

Therefore, it is time for this Town Manager Task Force to be changed to a Select Board Committee to allow town residents to become better informed and to weigh in about the timetable, options and cost of this much needed facility upgrade.