In addition, the center will include 2,400 square feet of space for “a compatible social service agency tenant, which will help subsidize the annual operational costs of the facility, and/or provide readily available expansion space for the seniors.”
City officials say there are 3,100 people in Newburyport over the age of 65. Counting those over 60, the population is 4,000. The growth in the number of seniors will continue until 2050, municipal leaders say.
Spokesmen for the local seniors say they would like the center to include offices for people providing services such as tax help, food stamp and fuel assistance and areas for kitchen space, a dining room, a drop-in area and meeting rooms.
Also possible are activity rooms for exercise, painting, bingo, bridge, dancing and knitting.
Plans currently call for an outdoor patio and garden space, and parking for approximately 100 vehicles.
Vining and several other municipal officials meet regularly with seniors to discuss the building project and to be prepared to make adjustments as the city gets closer to the bidding and building process.