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TOWNSEND — Teamwork is the key word for the people working on Townsend Woods, an affordable, senior-housing development on Dudley Road in Townsend.

“The team effort is going to create a better project,” said architect Gregory Zorzi of Springfield’s Studio One Architects.

Funds were raised, plans drawn up and now construction has begun.

RCAP Solutions, the builder and owner of Atwood Acres, another elderly-housing development in Townsend, worked with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to secure funding for the second affordable senior housing in Townsend.

“The program is fiercely competitive,” Warren Mroz, senior project manager at department said. “Just getting it to this stage is a lot of work,” he said. The federal government can no longer provide complete funding, so the state granted funds through two different offices; a HOME grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Housing Innovation Funds from the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation.

Townsend Wood’s designers at Studio One Architects specialize in designing senior housing. “You won’t know it’s affordable,” Zorzi said. Features are designed to enable seniors to age in a safe and attractive home.

Scooters will be able to be recharged right in front of the apartments. Common areas will provide friendly gathering places and a portico will keep people dry as they exit a vehicle into the building.

Walking distances will be minimized and fixtures will be designed to become handicap accessible as needed.

With molded oak hand rails, wall sconces and a fireplace, Zori promised the building would be attractive. The roof might be a “green” roof with plantings.

Townsend Woods will be extremely energy efficient and use environmentally-friendly building materials, he said.

Barr Construction, of Putnam, Conn., was chosen through a competitive bid process because of its experience building affordable senior housing.

The site is cleared, the slab poured and rough plumbing ready. John Darigan, the vice president of Barr Construction and project manager, said the construction is over 20 percent done.

Many of the contractors the firm is using for the project are local Darigan said. The flat site and gravel in the soil provides a stable base for the slab. Rich topsoil scraped off for construction will be reused in the landscaping.

Chris Novelli, project manager from Studio One, said the building is on schedule and on budget.

The construction has a minimal impact on residents at Atwood Acres. They continue to garden in front of the building site and have promises of more garden space when Townsend Woods is completed next spring.

The traffic pattern will be changed very little. Residents of the new 36-unit building will enter through the grounds of Atwood Acres. Darigan said the traffic pattern around Atwood Acres will remain one-way. Traffic in Townsend Woods will be two-way.

Affordable senior housing started to be built 40 to 45 years ago, Mroz said. The age of the residents in these buildings has risen. The average age in 1990 was 60 to 65. He said the new average of a resident in senior housing is closer to 80 now.

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