Friday, September 30, 2016
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno hosted a groundbreaking ceremony along with the Springfield Park Commission for the Raymond A. Jordan Springfield Senior Center to be built in Blunt Park. Mayor Sarno was joined by Congressman Richard E. Neal and a subcommittee, all who worked on the plans for the past six months, including Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Peter Garvey, Director of Capital Asset and Construction, Brian Santaniello, Chair of the Park Commission and Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management.
The facility will include a variety of activity spaces throughout the 25,000 square foot, two-story building. Activity rooms will include and are not limited to, dance, billiards, sewing, ceramics, carpentry, music, computer access, and a library. The focal point will be a 3,000 square foot banquet room which will hold daily luncheons, special events and a teaching kitchen. It is the intent to create the facility with a resort-like atmosphere. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $12 million.
The Blunt Park location will lend itself to outdoor activities that may include proposed walking trails and outdoor vegetable gardens. The proposed building comprises wood and stone elements on the exterior and large windows throughout for natural daylighting. A coffee room will be located near the front of the building, which will allow seniors to gather and create a social area for before or after activities.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I am grateful to the committee for completing the bids and final designs which will ensure that our Springfield seniors have a quality building to enjoy in their golden years. I am proud to be finally moving forward with this project. Springfield’s seniors deserve a dedicated building in which they can properly meet to host activities and enjoy this beautiful park setting. This is a project that has been talked about for over twenty years and I am so happy to finally deliver this request for a centralized building to our seniors. ”
“Today’s announcement is good news for the City of Springfield on two levels. First, the people of Blunt Park will soon have a new $12 million senior center that will benefit the entire neighborhood. When completed, this modern and beautiful facility will be a great comfort to our seniors and their families. And second, the center will be named after my good friend and loyal supporter Raymond Jordan. Throughout his life, Ray has made helping others his biggest priority. The naming of the facility, and its location, is a fitting tribute to his decades of leadership and service to our community,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
“As a life-long resident of Springfield, my family and I are overwhelmed by this honor. Having grown up in the Six Corner’s neighborhood, I attended Elias Brookings School and spent summers at Ruth Elizabeth playground and at the Dunbar Community Center- and now I enjoy the Austin Kenefick Senior Center. Let me stress that it’s not just a fitness center, but a multicultural center, where retirees, in between medical appointments can ‘solve the problems of the world,’” said Raymond A. Jordan. “The City of Springfield’s community centers have been a dominate feature in my life and even today I applaud the city for providing a place where people of all ages and stages can come together. Not bad growing up in Springfield! Back then, there’s no way I would have thought that the day would come when I would be memorialized by having a building named in my honor. I am truly humbled by this distinction.”
“I am very proud to be part of this exciting process. This ground breaking ceremony is a monumental step in providing a facility to properly serve our seniors. I applaud the Mayor for this important milestone in our city and I look forward to continue the hard work necessary in providing quality programs for our seniors,” said Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.
Director of Capital Asset Peter Garvey said, “This building will represent the commitment our city has for our seniors. This center will allow anyone over the age of 55 to take part and socialize on daily basis. I am proud of our city and Mayor for taking this positive step forward and ensuring we have a facility that promotes the well-being for our seniors.”
“The Park Commission has taken an active role working the Mayor in securing the funds to build the City’s new Senior Center. The siting of the building in Blunt Park will provide: a central location, a site that is on a bus line and a facility that will provide quality activities for all seniors,” said Parks Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello.
Executive Director of PRRM Patrick Sullivan stated, “The Mayor’s proactive approach has made a dream of a new senior center a reality. The final design has created a building that will provide seniors with a sanctuary to escape the day to day routine to a place that is equal to a resort. We look forward to the continued work necessary in making this building the best it can be. I am proud that our city will finally have the quality building that allows our seniors to meet on a daily basis for quality recreational opportunities. ”