Workshop Will Gather Public Input on Renovation of Lymes’ Senior Center

OLD LYME — Point One Architects will conduct a public workshop on Tuesday, July 6 at 1 p.m to talk about options for updating the Lymes’ Senior Center and to gather input from the community.

The Lymes’ Senior Center Building Committee has scheduled the workshop, which will take place inside the center, located at 26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, with COVID protocols in place, including masks and social distancing. 

The committee put out a Request for Qualifications and Proposal for a renovation feasibility study for the center on March 15 and received responses from seven firms. The committee interviewed three — QA+M Architecture, Northeast Collaborative Architects, and Point One Architects — and hired Point One on May 14. 

Point One conducted an initial exercise with the committee on June 9 to gather information and ideas from the committee. The July 6 workshop will include committee and board members and the public. 

The center’s active membership has grown from 300 members five years ago to 1,500 members since the beginning of the pandemic, a 500 percent increase. The rise in membership has created the need for increased space for programs and classes as well as work areas for staff and volunteers. 

The purpose of the study is to improve accessibility to the current building as well as the use of existing spaces among the center’s programs, while anticipating the organization’s needs for the next 20 years. 

The center is funded by the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme. The building committee was formed in late 2019 with members from both towns who were appointed by the First Selectman of each town. 

The towns contributed a total of $15,000 to the Lymes’ Senior Center in the 2021 cycle and the Lymes’ Center board gave an additional $15,000 as a one-time contribution, according to a press release. Capital improvements and maintenance of the building and grounds are the responsibility of both towns. Program funding comes from membership fees and monies raised by Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center a 501(c)(3) as well as donations and legacy endowments. 

The building also houses the local post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the office of the town Nurse for Old Lyme. 

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