Friday, February 2, 2018
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Congressman Richard E. Neal, Commissioner of Health and Human Services Helen Caulton-Harris, Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter J. Garvey, and Executive Director of PBRM Patrick J. Sullivan hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier today to celebrate the completion of the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center (RAJSC) in Blunt Park.
The $12 million facility is the first stand-alone building to offer senior programs in the city’s history. The RAJSC is approximately 23,500 square feet and includes a large grand hall that will be used as a multi-purpose space complemented by a full service commercial kitchen. Also on the first floor are administrative offices, a library and cafe area, and a computer/meeting room. The second floor has an exercise center, a large multi-purpose room for arts, ceramics, and sewing, and a game room. The expansive hallways have areas to congregate and visit. The facility is in a beautiful woodland retreat setting, offering the opportunity to utilize the 180-acre Blunt Park for walking and outdoor exercise programs.
The RAJSC will be open for tours starting Tuesday, February 6th. During this time, the café will be open for light snacks. Beginning on Monday, February 12th full lunch time meals will be served.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “I am thrilled to complete this project. My city team, along with the RAJ Senior Center Building Committee, has developed a first-class senior center for our residents. I felt it was very important to ensure that our residents enjoying their golden years have the opportunity to have an impressive facility to call their own. This complex will be one-stop shopping for senior services and I look forward to the expansion of programs and the opportunities that will be made available for our seniors.”
“Ray is so deserving of this great honor,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “I found him to be a reliable partner during my time as Mayor and certainly as a reliable partner throughout my career in Congress. Being acknowledged for his legislative and personal skills through the naming of this new senior center for which so many individuals will benefit is a fitting tribute to his many years of public service. ”
“I’m overwhelmed by the kind words of support I’ve received from both friends and residents throughout the city. Donna and I join our family in thanking the city for this recognition,” said Ray Jordan. “This senior center is a game changer, as a former legislator, I always made sure that I represented the interests of our seniors and to have the center named after me is a tremendous honor. It has everything ‘we’ seniors need and more. I’m delighted to be associated with this facility and extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Mayor Sarno, his team, and the Park Commission for making this all happen.”
“I am ecstatic for our seniors and I am grateful to the community for suggesting the complex be named in honor of a Springfield native son, Raymond A. Jordan. The opportunities are endless for our seniors with this facility and I look forward to collaborating with the Park Department and other agencies to continue on this path and develop exciting programming for our residents,” said Commissioner of Health and Human Services Helen Caulton-Harris.
Brian Santaniello, Chairman of the Park Commission, added, “The Springfield Park Commission is proud to be part of the continuing effort to provide our seniors the opportunity to socialize, exercise, and participate in enjoyable activities in a safe and supporting environment. This facility gives seniors a setting to spend many hours with friends and share their interests with one another.”
Director of Capital Asset Construction Peter Garvey said, “This facility will provide optimum programming opportunities. The state-of-the-art grand hall and multi-purpose rooms will be an asset to the seniors and the city as a whole. The building fits beautifully with the surrounding woodland park grounds.”
“This project has been promised by many over the years so a special thank you is in order to Mayor Sarno on delivering this vital building for our community,” said Executive Director of PBRM Patrick Sullivan. He continued, “Helen and I would like to thank all the past committees over the years who toured senior centers in other cities and towns with us. It was from these visits that countless ideas were brought forward to create the design for our unique building. We look forward to collaborating with the Health and Human Services Department in serving seniors at the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center at Blunt Park.”
More About the Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center
The RAJSC is the first facility in the history of the City of Springfield designed as a stand-alone building built solely for the purpose of serving the senior population. It is a state-of-the art facility designed to create a “retreat” environment where seniors in the city can experience a comfortable active setting while enjoying the picturesque tranquility of the outdoors.
The retreat concept is expressed throughout the building. Every aspect of the design, including the public facilities, finishes, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment, was created with our seniors in mind. A tour of the RAJSC will reveal the use of indirect lighting producing an evenly distributed glow of ambient light throughout the center. The use of colors and textures throughout the interior creates a warm and welcoming environment. Of note are the trim and the window work that reflect the woods surrounding the facility.
The Senior Center will offer organized instructional program areas for physical activities such as dance, yoga, fitness and aerobics. The RAJSC design includes space for activities such as card games, socializing, meetings and billiards. A multi-functional craft room can be adapted for sewing, dominos, watercolor arts and general crafts. The large multi-purpose room is served by a full kitchen and has the feel of a grand hall. The room will serve lunch on a daily basis, and can easily be transformed for ballroom dances, movies, and a variety of other programs. The RAJSC accommodates individual social interaction among the members as well as instructional group classes. A computer room offers training and internet access. The café provides another area to socialize independently from the rest of the facility. Off the main hallway, there is a quiet space for those who want to read, watch television, or just relax.
The Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center has been created as a place for older adults to meet and obtain services and enjoy activities that reflect their experience and skills, respond to diverse needs and interests, enhance their dignity, support their independence and encourage their involvement in the community.
On behalf of Mayor Domenic Sarno and the City of Springfield, we welcome our seniors to their new facility. We are all very proud of the new Raymond A. Jordan Senior Center and we look forward to creating joyous experiences and wonderful memories for our deserving seniors.
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