Windsor Senior Center to undergo renovations

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Apr. 21, 2011
Seniors presently use this lounge space to play a little Wii bowling, but it will soon be turned into the Windsor Senior Center office space. Photos by Jennifer Coe.
Seniors presently use this lounge space to play a little Wii bowling, but it will soon be turned into the Windsor Senior Center office space. Photos by Jennifer Coe.

Renovations to the Windsor Senior Center are in the final planning stages, and those plans seem to be moving along at a quick pace. The center, which has been housed in L.P. Wilson Community Center for many years, has been making due with the space allotted, but has been battling issues such as heavy, unsafe doors, poor heating containment and inadequate window air-conditioning units.

The center has been on a capitol improvement project waiting list for funding for several years. Finally, the center has come up for funding and Senior Center Coordinator Rick Liegl couldn’t be happier. “I think it’s going to be a very exciting time and bring a sense of pride for all the seniors,” he said.

Liegl, who has been in charge at the center for three years, cannot wait to see the 80 feet of glass windows disappear and be replaced with a better and more energy-efficient front façade wall. “There will be better energy efficiency and more safety,” said Liegl. He added that it will provide “more safety for the seniors and improve the aesthetic of the center.”

One of the main changes will be to the entrance. A glass enclosed vestibule will replace the present heavy entrance door, which has also been a safety issue for seniors trying to enter and exit the main room. It will also protect the main activity room from losing extensive heat during the winter months. A ramp for wheelchair-bound visitors or those who use walkers will be installed, and a completely new sidewalk will be poured.

According to minutes from an April 12 Windsor Public Building Commission meeting, Drummey, Rosane, Anderson, Inc. is the architectural firm working with the town to create a construction plan that will improve the seniors’ social environment. Firm representative Jim Barrett has been meeting with town officials for months to update them on the progress of the project, which should begin in early summer. An invitation to bid for the work has been distributed and the results will be further discussed at the April 29 PBC meeting. Barrett would like to see the construction company chosen by May 10 and the work done throughout “June, July and some of August as a target.”

The seniors cannot wait for the changes. A group of four patrons who were playing cards talked about how they felt about the upcoming changes. “We can’t wait. It sounds great,” said Lois. “Ever since I started coming here, we have been waiting,” she added.

“We’re going to enjoy it,” added Ruthie, who also felt that the new entrance was “badly needed.”

“Parking will be kind of a nightmare, but you have to go through certain things…” said Carolyn.

In addition to the construction efforts, the offices for the senior center will be shifted over to the senior center lounge space, and vice versa. Seniors will be able to enjoy the company of friends together in the main room.

As of April 12, only one construction company had made a request for more information on the project. During construction, all Windsor Senior Center activities will be taking place in what is known as the Green Room in L.P. Wilson Community Center. “Activities will be ongoing,” said Liegl. The cost for the project is estimated to be about $385,000.

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