GROTON – A year-and-a-half after they voted to fund a new senior center, local residents will see that vote pay off in a new hub for community activity.
The Groton Center will open its doors for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 2 for a dedication ceremony and open house from 1 to 4 p.m.
The new building, which cost $5.4 million, sits in the exact same spot on 163 West Main St. as the Groton Senior Center, which was torn down after a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion was approved by the town last year to fund the construction.
Peter Cunningham, chair of the Senior Center Building Committee, said back in September that the new center is meant to be more accessible not just to seniors but other community groups like Boy Scout troops and the Groton Public Library. Cunningham added that the center was supposed to be finished this past July but bad weather last winter caused delays.
The old senior center, which occupied a former Veterans of Foreign War building, had design flaws that made it difficult for attendees to enter and navigate the facility. It also had no elevators, automatic doors or rails for the stairs at its back entrance. The size of the old center also called for a new building, only affording 5,100 square feet for the center’s growing number of visitors.
Cunningham said on Tuesday that the new Groton Center is 10,900 square feet. The new center will feature a plethora of amenities and items to make the building intriguing to the eye, including a wall wrapping around the inner-center of the structure featuring an art gallery and a dedication to local veterans. The new center houses a multi-purpose room with kitchen attached meant for assembly, dining, and even a game of pickleball thanks to the vinyl tiling on the floor. There are also four function rooms in the center meant for classes including yoga, art and strength training.
After the opening ceremony, the center will start offering programs to interested locals. These include the kickoff of the Groton Center Speaker Series with Congresswoman Lori Trahan on Nov. 5 and AARP Smart Driver courses on Nov. 8.