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New senior center 'getting awful big'



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January 26, 2011 - Now the real work begins.

That was the word from Orion Township Supervisor Matthew Gibb, who at last week's regular meeting of the township board gave an update, along with a preview of what comes next, on the new senior/community center

With an expected completion date of June 1, Gibb said trustees - and interested citizens - need to get busy.

"This is where the board needs to be involved," he said. "We need to almost immediately start refining policy directives for that facility, (as well as for) the amphitheater, park facilities, but particularly for the new community senior center."

Gibb also told the board modifications during the building process give the center a full emergency shelter classification. Complete with LEED certification, full heat, air, and an entire light package, the building can serve as a safe refuge.

"It will be the only one in Orion of this capacity," he said. "So if there is a natural disaster, it will be almost a live-in center the way it's been designed.

To keep things moving along, he said, the township board needs to determine a policy for issues such as hours, and whether people can get one-day alcohol permits if they want to have a wedding at the center. Placement of moveable walls, a computer lab, library, and art areas also walls, a computer lab, library, and art areas also need to be determined, and the center needs a name.

Staff, Gibb said, has also been working on planning the most effective ways to operate with budget constraints and perceived partnerships for programming options in the community. Dance, yoga and senior activities, for example.

And it all needs to happen quickly.

With the building structure in place, he said, walls are going up inside and rooms are starting to get laid out.

The roof will go on soon, the windows will go in.

"If you haven't seen it, you must not drive on Joslyn Road, "Gibb said. "It's getting awful big."

Motorists will see an enclosed structure by the first part of first part of February, as contractors arrive to install HVAC components and electrical.

"It's going as smooth as can be expected," he said. "There's been hiccups in the road."

For example, the building was originally slated for fire retardant steel construction.

"Now we're going to do a fire suppression system in the facility," he said. "So that's added some additional costs."

According to Gibb, those additional costs were offset by savings achieved in other areas.

Lake Orion Review Editor
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