The Day – Main center construction committee hires company for feasibility study
Old Lyme – The Lymes Senior Center construction committee has selected a local architectural firm for a feasibility study that will form the basis for a possible renovation or expansion.
Earlier this month, the committee selected Point One Architects + Planners of Old Lyme to conduct a $ 24,000 study.
Committee chair Jeri Baker said the surge in membership under the leadership of the centre’s senior manager, Stephanie Gould, has grown from 300 members to over 1,500 in less than five years.
In its request for proposals, the committee indicated that it was exploring ways to make better use of the existing space or to expand.
The senior center is funded by the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme for construction projects and capital improvements, according to Baker. The center covers the rest through membership fees, community contributions and inheritance grants.
The construction committee received a total of $ 15,000 from the two cities for the study, Baker said. The centre’s main board matched this amount.
The committee unanimously voted to award the contract to Point One at its May 14 meeting.
“It’s a small business and they are local,” Baker said. “We love their design approach, but we love the idea that they are local in the community.”
The committee interviewed three out of eight applicants, Baker said. The Northeast Collaborative Architects based in Middletown, Connecticut cost $ 14,500, while Farmington’s QA&M Architecture cost $ 29,500.
Baker said cost was not the main factor guiding the selection. “We were more concerned that we would have a business that understood who we are and would be able to come up with a study that reflected community consensus and community input,” she said.
Located in Old Lyme on Town Woods Road, the center was built in 1996 and has not undergone renovations since, the committee said.
The committee asked applicants to review the existing space in the facility as well as its parking layout, and complete three concept plan options for the renovation with associated costs.
In the proposal, Point One partner Gregory Nucci cited the company’s experience in conducting feasibility studies for organizations such as the Lyme Art Association, the Essex Savings Bank and the Essex Yacht Club.
Nucci described a process that “brings people together” through design workshops.
“The results of the workshop reveal valuable information about the design and help foster consensus and goodwill among all stakeholders, including community members, developers, the design team and neighbors.” , wrote Nucci. “Based on our experience, it is essential to involve the community early in the planning process, as the success of a project may depend on the quality of its reception by its community.”
Baker said it was important to the committee that the selected company considered the long-term needs of the center within the larger context of how senior centers evolve and are used within communities.
“We wanted them to appear 15 to 20 years later,” she said.
The center serves people aged 55 and over – or “55 and over,” as described in the centre’s newsletter – who Baker described as a multigenerational community spanning nearly 50 years, from its youngest members to its centenarians.
“We’re trying to see what we can do to make sure we serve them all,” she said.
The center is also home to Lyme / Old Lyme veterans from Foreign Wars Post 1467 and a city nurse through the Association of Visiting Nurses of Southeast Connecticut.
Baker said the committee expects the study to begin in mid-June and end in mid-September.
The firm’s proposal allows approximately four weeks to review the zoning and building code, take measurements and create basic drawings; two weeks to run workshops; three weeks to develop the requested concept plans; and another week for the final presentation.
Baker said the study is one way to determine what the center will look like in the future and what the community’s needs are.
It is also a tool for building consensus, she said: “This is going to be important because we also know that we have to be accountable to both cities for the funding.”