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Residents shown design plans for new Atwood Acres extension

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TOWNSEND — Residents got a sneak peek at what the expansion of Atwood Acres will look like once the project comes to fruition.

Land use coordinator Kathy Araujo, along with Studio 1 Architecture representatives, held a public hearing to show how the proposed 36 elderly housing structure will look inside and out.

”Our goal is always high-quality housing for seniors, and we are looking forward to doing this project in Townsend,” said Studio 1 architect Christopher Noveli.

The proposed addition will have a landscaped walkway which will connect to the existing housing complex.

”The exterior will be clapboard siding, which is traditional New England,” Noveli said. “There will be an energy-efficient heating system so that each unit can control their own heat and air conditioning.”

He explained that Housing and Urban Development controls what size each unit will be, but the design by Studio 1 will make the most of the space.

”The regulations state each unit may be no more than 540 square feet,” Noveli explained. “Each unit contains a kitchen along with lower cabinets, controls on the front of the stove instead of the top for ease, and each unit will be handicapped-accessible if needed.”

He said each unit can be converted to handicapped-accessible if the resident has a change in status, so they will be able to stay in their original unit.

”There is going to be sound reinforcement in each apartment so one person’s television will not keep their neighbor awake,” the designer said. “Each unit will also have synthetic marble window sills for plants, and showers with grab bars. The windows will be double hung and tilt-in style.”

Each floor of the proposed three-story structure will have a large sitting room, as well as laundry facilities. A central elevator will simplify access.

”There is a large community room with a kitchen for functions and also areas set aside for passive recreation,” Noveli said.

A total of 36 parking spaces will be proposed, with 20 of those spaces meeting the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

”We will establish a home atmosphere throughout, not an apartment complex atmosphere,” Noveli said.

Russell Moore, who sits on several seniors-affairs committees in town, told the audience the town is lucky to have the adjacent site to the existing Atwood Acres to build on, and Studio 1 has left plenty of open space around the complex.

”It is a beautiful site and I believe we are using it right,” he noted.

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