City of Worthington continuing to move forward with senior center projectConcerns about soil contamination have slowed process
WORTHINGTON — What do the Tacos Lupe, former West Elementary and the one-time MC Fitness sites have in common? They housed Worthington’s senior center.
WORTHINGTON — What do the Tacos Lupe, former West Elementary and the one-time MC Fitness sites have in common?
They housed Worthington’s senior center.
At one point or another, each building accommodated the city of Worthington’s senior facilities until they found its current location at former Quiznos’ space at Ace Hardware.
For a few years, the city has been working to find an ideal, permanent location for facility. The former Worthington Area YMCA site on 11th Street was ultimately targeted, but the city discovered soil contamination issues could arise if the building was demolished.
Brad Chapulis, manager of community and economic development for the city, explained Thursday that upon initial inspection, the extent of contamination was unknown.
“We (city) didn’t want to buy a property that would end up having a large amount of environmental clean up,” Chapulis said.
“The delay is not because the city was dragging our feet or anything,” City Administrator Craig Clark added. “The delay was because of the environmental concerns that were on the site that had to be addressed before we could move forward.”
From the sale of its hospital to Sanford Health, the city has allocated $1.5 million to the senior center project. Of that total, $1 million is designated for construction, Clark said; the remainder is for operational expenses.
According to Chapulis, the 1980 gym will be retained while part of the existing structure is set to be demolished and rebuilt.
At the June 27 city council meeting, a group of senior center representatives presented a conceptual design and the cost estimate for the future center. The estimated cost of the project now stands at $994,140.74.
The council has since authorized the group to proceed with a full design.
The next course of action, expected in early August, is for council to authorize a bidding session “with construction to commence some time in September if everything goes accordingly,” Chapulis said.
The majority of the construction will encompass the 2,880-square-foot addition along with a new parking lot.
Bob Petrich, a representative on the city’s senior center committee, said the facility will feature small meeting rooms and an exercise area, among other amenities.
The city is hoping for contruction to be complete by May 2012.
“Everyone will take a sigh of relief after this is done,” Petrich said.