Wednesday December 11, 2019
by Jonah Snowden
LUDLOW — The Ludlow Senior Center construction project took a concrete step in becoming a reality on Dec. 6, as several town officials, Friends of the Ludlow Senior Center members, and seniors came together to witness the official groundbreaking of the new building at the corner of State Street and First Avenue. State Rep. Thomas Petrolati, D-Ludlow, said he was happy about the project’s constant progression. He also pointed out the group of people missing on the sign displayed at the groundbreaking were the residents who voted approved the new senior center funding. “Although they’re missing on this sign, the residents of this community deserve our appreciation,” said Petrolati. Selectmen Chairman Derek DeBarge, who also sits on the Senior Center Building Committee. During his speech, DeBarge said he would like to thank the Friends of the Senior Center for their hard work, since they have supported this project from the beginning and stayed with it as it progressed. He also said he has been happy to witness the progress of this project from the beginning. “I’ve had the privilege to start my first term as a selectman in our town, just as the senior center project was beginning to roll out to the public,” said DeBarge. “I was the first selectman to publicly endorse the new building because I believed in the project, and I believe the seniors not only deserve the new building, but were long overdue for one. You [seniors] have been taking care of us in so many ways, and for so many years, it’s about time that we do something that serves you [seniors] better every day.” Senior Center Building Committee Chairman Fred Layfayette said that he would like to acknowledge the beginning of the project was the hardest part, but now, they can be relieved as they allow the construction to take place, and finally enjoy the new building once it has been completed. After the speeches, town officials, Senior Jonah Center Building Committee members, and others came together to officially break ground for the building. Ludlow Senior Center Director Jodi Zepke said she is extremely happy this project has entered a new phase, and is looking forward to the finished building. “This has been such a long process, and were just so excited that it’s finally happening,” said Zepke. “It’s long overdue, and we’re excited. The seniors deserve to have a brand new state-of-the-art home that’s away from home.” The new building is expected to be an 18,000 square-foot building at a cost of about $7 million and will be completed by fall 2020. This new building will include a dining room, billiard rooms, a patio, fitness room, kitchen, craft room and other space. The companies in charge of the development of the new building include Dietz & Co. Architects, of Springfield, who did the building plans; The Forish Construction Co Inc., who is building it,and P3 Project Planning Professionals, who is managing the project. The Friends of the Ludlow Senior Center are still accepting donations or its $1 million campaign drive, which will be used to pay for the furnishings, equipment and other building needs. To make a donation or learn more the new senior center, visit https://bit.yy/2WIGKKo.