Construction of Hadley’s new senior center underway, ceremony held Tuesday

  • An artist’s rendering shows what the new Hadley Senior Center building will look like. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • Foundation for new Hadley Senior Center. SUBMITTED

  • Foundation for new Hadley Senior Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO

  • State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and Senior Center Director Suzanne Travisano at Tuesday’s ceremonial groundbreaking Submitted Photo

  • State Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, center, joins town and senior center officials in a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Hadley senior center Tuesday. —Submitted Photo

Staff Writer
Friday, June 07, 2019

HADLEY — With dirt being moved in the open field, a foundation and footings being poured and electrical lines being laid, construction on the town’s new, 10,350-square foot senior center is underway.

As the $7.1 million project moves along, town officials this week held a groundbreaking event at the 46 Middle St. site, with Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, among those using a ceremonial shovel to move dirt.

Jane Nevinsmith, chairwoman of the Senior Center Building Committee, said brief talks took take place before officials donned hard hats.

Forish Construction of Westfield is handling the project. Nevinsmith said the company brings experience to senior center construction, having previously built Greenfield and Westfield’s senior centers.

The next task for Forish is to begin drainage work at the site.

The senior center, which is expected to be complete in April 2020, is the first of two projects to get underway on the site of the former Hooker School, which had been used as the senior center since 1998.

The Hooker building will be demolished in the coming weeks to make way for a new town library.

A contractor for that project has not yet been selected by the Select Board. Nevinsmith said whoever is chosen will work with Forish to make sure the projects, which will share parking, both move forward seamlessly.

The senior center, meanwhile, has been moved to the parish hall at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.  “Its nice space for us,” Nevinsmith said

The senior center’s programs are all on one level at the church building. Nevinsmith said the functioning heating and air conditioning are giving elders a preview of the comforts they will have once the new building opens.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.