Design plans for a new two-story Senior Center were approved by Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen at Monday night’s meeting.
Before the meeting, Mayor Kelly Wolfe said the plans, submitted by Ken Ross Architects via their representative, C.W. Parker, has been part of a two-year process with constant consultation between the Senior Center Committee, Board of Mayor and Aldermen, staff and Ken Ross Architects.
“We’ve had community forums, we’ve had a lot of senior input, staff input ... and what we’ve got is what we think will be the final product here,” Wolfe said.
Parker discussed in length Monday night the design plans for the building’s future home at the corner of E. Main Street and Longview Drive.
He said the main level of the building will host a variety of rooms, including rooms for cards and games, arts and crafts, a computer lab, as well as a classroom.
“Many things can take place in this classroom, whether it be giving classes on health information, whether it be community happenings ... this space will be available,” Parker said.
The dining area in the Senior Center will also serve as a multi-purpose space with the ability to host dances, large meetings, meals and large presentations.
The commercial kitchen will also be included in the facility, but as funds for new commercial kitchen equipment are not available, kitchen equipment from the existing facility will be taken to the new facility.
Wolfe explained earlier that the facility will also have a mixture of finished and unfinished space.
“We have unfinished space in the basement,” he said. “We’ve actually worked with our friends at Washington County ... to provide us a half million dollars once the building is ... substantially complete, then to go toward finishing the basement area there. Based on how our bids go ... that’ll determine at what level we can finish it ourselves. Then we hope to utilize those county funds then ... to take the basement all the way to completion and we may end up doing a great bit of that work ourselves, or in conjunction with the Carter County Work Camp crew, or town crews or other personnel we see fit to employ.”
Parker told the board Monday that the unfinished portions could also allow for future expansion to the facility.
“Another reason for not having it (the basement finished) at this point is we do not want to pour slab, have the program develop farther and realize we need plumbing over there and then have to go back and trench through a concrete slab. So, this does give us flexibility as the program keeps developing,” Parker said.
The board brought up questions such as bidders’ interest in the project, supervision during on-site construction of the facility, as well as the general look of the building, but voted unanimously to approve the design from Ken Ross Architects.
Robert Browning, town administrator, said while they would now have to submit the design for approval by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Rural Development Group, Monday’s vote now opens up the bidding process. He said he was very satisfied with the overall design plan.
“I think one of the things that is really nice about the way it’s being designed is that it does have the flexibility to have some after hours activity.”
Actions concerning the approval of streetscape furnishings and the second and final reading of an ordinance amending the zoning code clarifying the criteria for use of a planned residential district were also approved at Monday’s meeting.
Wolfe, along with Aldermen Terry Countermine and Adam Dickson were also sworn in by county attorney John Rambo.