The planned construction of Springfield’s new senior center
at Chisholm Community Center has been delayed due to some unforeseen structural
and fire code problems, Township Administrator Anthony Cancro said at last week's committee meeting.
Cancro explained that, while digging up the ramp in the rear of the building, construction workers discovered some foundations nobody knew about, requiring a structural engineer to assess the situation and additional construction to be done.
Deputy Mayor Richard Huber said it was also discovered that sprinklers were not placed in closets, although he said it is a law to do so. He said it will end up costing the township about $300 per sprinkler head.
Another change in plans discussed during the meeting was the choice to not bring in a new stove due to the requirement of installing a fire suppression system, which Cancro said would have cost the township between $25,000 and $40,000.
Sam Mardini, the township’s assistant engineer, said the problem was that, when building the plans, the architect did not consider the senior center’s kitchen to be commercial, which requires the fire suppression system, and the fire sub-code officials disagreed.
“This is almost like a household kitchen,” Mardini said. “But fire sub-code officials decided it is required. We decided it would not be worth spending that type of money to install the system.”
Resident Pat Imbriale, who frequents the current senior center at Sarah Bailey Civic Center, said she was not originally a fan of the move in general and considers the lack of a planned stove “another disappointing blow to us.”
“The plans we had to enjoy the new senior center included cooking and crafts,” Imbriale said. “Now it’s just another thing our seniors have to deal with because things are not done right from the top.”
Committee Member Margaret Bandrowski said she is upset the architect didn’t see it differently during the planning stage.
“I know we can’t afford it, but that’s a great disappointment,” Bandrowski said.
In lieu of the new stove, Cancro said a convection oven, which will cost about $1,300, has been ordered.
“It’s probably more expensive than a regular stove,” Cancro said. “It will be different, but they will be top-line appliances.”
The administrator also mentioned there is an existing stove in the back of Chisholm that can be used if needed and that meets all of the codes and fire standards from when it was built.