Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Center moves closer to completion

A brand new Senior Center may be Jonesborough’s Christmas present this year, if things continue to progress at the site.
“The lighting is all in. The ceiling is all done. It’s looking pretty impressive” said Town Administrator Bob Browning
And, following the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s approval Monday night, the center’s downstairs HVAC low bid has been accepted, paving the way for S.B. White Co. to begin the completion of one of the few dangling details in the project.
“It helps us keep moving,” Browning said.
“Moving” may finally be the theme for a project that seemed to be mired in problems and delays for its first two years.
Now under the direction of Landmark Corp., the momentum seems to have changed, and the project’s weekly meetings continue to report a steady stream of completions.
“We’re one step closer each day,” said Eddie Phillips with Ken Ross Architects at an earlier meeting. “Our agenda is getting smaller.”
According to Landmark President Larry Calloway, the company is still looking at a Nov. 20 completion date, at which time the new center would be turned over to the town.
At that time, said Browning, the town will work to finish details needed to move staff into place and start the programs rolling.
“The board would ultimately make that determination,” Browning said. “It would be a great time to do it, during the holiday season.”
Factors that might delay that move could include staffing issues, as well as the extent of work still needed to be completed in the basement of the building, which will house the senior’s fitness center and is being undertaken, for the most part, by town staff.
Now that the HVAC bid has been approved and work has begun, the basement is less of an issue.
“I would assume we’ll have the staffing in place at that time,” Browning said of the November completion. “We’ll have the furnishings by that time as well.”
The town will have to take a look at the full situation once the building is complete, he added, to determine the feasibility of moving in immediately.
In the meantime, Landmark’s staff appears to continue to chip away at the center’s to-do list.
“We’ve pretty much got our arms wrapped around the big issues,” said Mike Price with Landmark.
Browning also noted happily that “there’s only a little bit of green left on the Main Street side of the building.”
Currently, Browning said, the floors are set to be installed beginning next week. The crew will first tackle the bathrooms so the commodes can be set in place. All other bathroom fixtures are already in place, he added.
In addition:
• The upstairs HVAC is in and operational.
• Inside casework is complete barring a couple of counter tops.
• All cabinets are in, with some additional work expected in the Arts & Crafts Room.
• All the interior glass is in.
• Painting is being finalized.
• Doors and hardware are scheduled for delivery Oct. 16.
A second crew is now working on the exterior, Browning said, and guttering, soffits and other outside details are now in focus.
“The furniture is due to be delivered on Oct. 23 or 26,” Browning added. “(Landmark crew) are going to finish probably the Arts & Craft Room to keep it in,” he added.
At the Oct. 12 meeting, board members also approved a new position of a Senior Center Wellness Coordinator, a position well in keeping with the new center’s emphasis on health and fitness.
“We waited for Mary’s input on what we needed,” Browning said of Center Director Mary Sanger.
Sanger, he said, felt like the kind of wellness activities, as well as the presences of the proposed downstairs clinic, exercise room and fitness center pointed to the need for a wellness coordinator, rather than a simple program coodinator.
While action needed to complete the center — from staff to walls — is clearly moving forward, Browning stressed that it was still too early to determine a possible opening date.
He said he expects discussions with the board in November should yield a more definitive announcement.
Whatever the day, according to Browning, things are definitely looking up at the Senior Center.
“As you see that building come up, I just think it’s a home run,” Browning said.