For decades East Boston’s senior citizens and senior groups like the Golden Age Club have been clamoring for their own space in the community.
Today, seniors share space at other non-profits for senior programs, social hours, parties and other events. A dedicated senior center would allow seniors to accomplish these things within the confines of their own permanent location.
Last year, Mayor Martin Walsh joined hundreds of Eastie seniors at the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) Paris Street Community Center to kick off the community process for a new senior center at the former Orient Heights library location on Barnes Avenue.
After several meetings initial construction is now underway at the former library in Orient Heights.
For the past few weeks construction crews have been busy gutting the inside of the former library to make room for the community’s vision for Eastie’s first ever dedicated senior center.
According to the Mayor’s Office the investment will transform the former library into a new senior center. The project will be managed by the City’s Public Facilities Department and will include creating flexible rooms to support the programs that will be offered, building a new deck on the North side of the building, relocating and upgrading the kitchen, and making all entrances and bathrooms fully accessible. In addition, all major mechanical systems will be upgraded or replaced including electrical, plumbing and HVAC.
Investments from Massport, through a mitigation struck with the Logan Impact Advisory Committee (LIAG), will help support the programming and operational needs of the newly-renovated center once construction is complete.
Rep. Adrian Madaro, who helped create the LIAG in response to Massport’s Terminal E project, once the senior center opens it will be a great day for Eastie.
“This long-awaited project will provide important community resources and activities for seniors.”
Senior centers and the senior programming they house promote connection, education, health and personal enrichment for older adults,” he said.
The East Boston senior center is being developed in collaboration with design firm Fennick McCredie Architecture and City of Boston departments including Budget, Public Facilities, Property Management, Age Strong, Department of Neighborhood Development, and Neighborhood Services.