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New Jonesborough Senior Center continues to grow

Although some major delays took place this past winter for the construction of the new Senior Center, the work is now moving along at a good pace, according to town officials.
Town Administrator Bob Browning said even though the building progress was interrupted by quite a few inclement weather days this past winter, they are still operating on a timely schedule due to the good weather the area has experienced the last month and a half.
“They are still working to try to get the project finished on the original schedule,” Browning said, which is toward the beginning of November.
Browning said the Senior Center will most likely open the first of the year.
One of the issues that has surfaced since the beginning of the project was scheduled to go before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen during their June 9 meeting. Browning said they originally cut the ground floor work out of the project and are seeking board approval to layer that work back into the project.
The work will include drains for the bathroom areas downstairs, as well as the concrete floor.
“We are trying to make sure that we are doing things that are in the most cost-effective and logical way,” Browning said. “That is the reason we are adding something back into the process.”
In order to save money on the ground floor work, Browning said the town is planning to use inmate labor to complete some of the work.
“That can be a big cost savings for us,” he said.
By using inmate labor, the timing may vary on when the work can be done.
Browning said if they are able to have the work done while Rainey Contracting is working upstairs, the town will certainly be looking into doing that.
If the town has to wait for the contractor to be out of the building to do the downstairs floor, then that may mean the process will be extended.
“We are intending to go ahead and work on that bottom floor, but we need to be able to do that at the right time when we use the inmate crew,” Browning said.
As of last week, Rainey Contracting had the concrete decking between the first and second floor in place. The contractor was also putting up the metal rafters for the roof, and the plumber was working on the plumbing for the building.
Browning said the excess dirt that is located around the building will be removed in the next couple of weeks.
“The whole site around the building will be cleaned up substantially and look a lot better,” he said.
The groundbreaking for the Senior Center took place last November.
The current Senior Center, approximately 5,000 square feet, was an old RV sales center that became out-of-date 10 to 12 years ago when the center grew from about 500 to almost 2,000 members in the past decade.
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development provided funding for the building, which was estimated to cost $2.3 million.
The new two-story building once completed will have the capability of having up to 25,000 square feet.
It will be a brick structure with a metal roof and PVC or cement boards for the trim on the outside of the center.
The two-story structure will have an elevator, exercise space, dining area, meeting rooms, computer rooms, classrooms and plenty of office space for the Senior Center staff.