The town of Worthington received a nice Christmas present with the news that we have been awarded a $2 Million grant towards building a Senior Center in town. Below is the Press Release from Congressman Richard Neal’s office.
Neal Secures Over $20 Million For Local Projects in Final Government Funding Package
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Richard E. Neal announced $20,367,800 in Community Project Funds has been included in the final 2023 appropriations government funding package. This funding responds directly to some of the most pressing needs in western and central Massachusetts.
“I am proud to have secured $20,367,800 in Community Project Funding in this bill that I know meets long overdue community needs in Massachusetts’ First Congressional District,” Congressman Neal said. “From North Adams to Dudley, I have partnered with community leaders to explore ways in which a robust investment in federal dollars could best be allocated. These investments create jobs with better pay, make us safer, strengthen our communities, and start to tackle climate change.”
Congressman Neal championed funding for 15 projects that will directly benefit Massachusetts’ 1st District residents. These include:
- $2,000,000 for the Worthington Senior Center
- $1,000,000 for the Back Office Support Services (BOSS) Program and Vendor Advisory Council
- $750,000 for the 429 Morgan Road West Springfield Capital Improvement Project
- $1,000,000 for Bay Path University, Longmeadow, for wraparound academic and student support services
- $2,854,800 for the City of Chicopee for a Water Pollution Control Facility
- $3,000,000 for the Cyber Security Range at Union Station, Springfield, for a cybersecurity program, including equipment
- $1,000,000 for the Elms College, Chicopee, for social sciences and education curriculum and programming, including scholarships and equipment
- $750,000 for the Historic Lenox Town Hall Roof and Rotunda Restoration Project
- $3,000,000 for the Historic Wahconah Park Grandstand Improvement Project
- $200,000 for the Hoosic River Basin
- $620,000 for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, for a nursing program, including equipment
- $513,000 for the Mental Health Association, Inc., Springfield, for mental health services, including technology and equipment
- $680,000 for the Nichols College, Dudley, for an intelligent business automation program, including equipment
- $2,000,000 for the Renovation of the Girls Inc of the Valley Headquarters and Program Center
- $1,000,000 for Westfield State University, Westfield, for a nursing and health sciences program, including equipment
The twelve-bill government funding package will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families. Taken together, the funding for Massachusetts’s First District and the funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities.
The bill has passed the House and Senate. It will now go to President Biden’s desk for his signature. A detailed summary of the bill is available here.
President Biden signed the bill on December 25, 2022.
WORTHINGTON SENIOR COMMUNITY CENTER PROJECT HISTORY
In 2018, the Worthington Select Board and COA Director contacted Hilltown CDC to discuss the process of building a Senior Center in Worthington. Executive Director, Dave Christopolis met with the town and proposed using Community Development Block Grant funds to conduct a planning study to determine feasibility and cost.
In 2019, Hilltown CDC prepared and submitted the Planning Grant application to the Depart- ment of Housing and Community Development through the Community Development Block Grant source. A planning grant for $65,000 was awarded. At this time, Kathy Ford, Architect was hired as a Project Manager to oversee the planning process.
Planning activities included a town wide survey, a series of focus groups with Worthington residents, and a series of meetings with the Select Board and Senior Center committee.
This funding also allowed us to explore site identification, test sites for potential develop- ment and determine some preliminary cost models. Planning was completed prior to 2020 which identified the Moran property as the most suitable for a Senior Center development.
The project appeared feasible based on the results. It was decided that pursuing the next step in development was necessary. In 2020 Hilltown CDC applied for an Architectural Design grant through the Department of Housing and Community Development through the Community Development Block Grant source. A Design grant for $150,000 was awarded. $135,000 has been set aside for Architectural Design.
Hilltown CDC put the design services out to bid, interviewed bidders and made a recommendation to the Town to engage architects Caolo & Bieniek Associates, Inc. A contract was signed in September 2021 and work was commenced. The architects and town committee held 2 public meetings on September 25, 2021 and October 16, 2021. A recording of the 1st meeting along with photos and the final design are below.
The center is planned for a site next to Town Hall on Huntington Road. The building would be around 4,500 square feet in size and include a café, a large dividable multipurpose room, several classrooms and offices, a kitchen and storage spaces.
The estimated cost for the project is $3.4 Million, so we have a ways to go. The Hilltown CDC is continuing to explore additional funding options and the Selectboard will be working with the CDC on the project.