$3.9M senior center expansion gets green light
Updated 4:29 pm, Friday, July 28, 2017
WESTPORT — Seniors claimed a big win when the Representative Town Meeting unanimously voted Tuesday to approve a $3.9 million renovation project for the senior center.
“This is a no-brainer. It really is one of the finest offerings we provide for our senior citizens,” said Louis Mall, RTM 2.
The vote will allow the busy Westport Center for Senior Activities — overflowing with seniors — to expand from 12,000 square feet to 18,000. A crammed fitness center will be enlarged to accommodate demand for classes and there will more space for arts and crafts, another popular activity.
Other improvements will include more space for multipurpose rooms, a game room, locker rooms, showers, a cafe and more senior-friendly parking with less of a slope.
Construction is set to start “after the winter,” said Selectman Avi Kaner, adding the work could take as long as a year to finish.
Sue Pfister, director of the senior center, who held a celebratory ice cream social for seniors prior to the vote, explained how well used the building is and her confidence in how necessary it is.
“The center serves on average 310 to 350 seniors a day, and we offer 20 to 22 programs each day,” she said.
At the prevote party, Martha Aasen, a member of the Westport Center for Senior Activities Policy & Planning Board, who has been vital in the process, was all smiles.
An assembly line of RTM members spouting their effusive praise for the project followed Pfister’s presentation.
Jack Klinge, RTM 7, and chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, said, “This is a very happy moment for me and a lot of other seniors in town.
“We’re doubling the fitness center,” he said. There will be “more room for more activities,” as well as a “wet and dry art room.”