Senior center expansion plan to be unveiled


NASHUA – After years of fund raising, the project to redevelop the Senior Activity Center and build 43 units of new elderly housing is gathering steam.

Supporters hope to break ground by the end of the year.

A meeting is being held tonight at the center to give neighbors and area businesses a look at the plans.

Patricia Francis, the center’s director, said now is the opportunity for people to ask questions and express concerns so any problems can be handled. Last week, the project was unveiled to about 60 center members.

Francis said the reaction was largely positive, although there remained concerns about parking for the participants of the center and residents of the new housing complex.

“We didn’t hear anything negative,” Francis said.

And Francis is optimistic the neighborhood also will welcome the plan.

The activity center moved to Temple Street, near its intersection with East Pearl Street, in the early 1980s, so the area is familiar with programs at the center and the ebb and flow of traffic bringing center members, she said.

The project would nearly double the single-floor center to a 20,000-square-foot, two-story building. The addition of the four-story housing complex will bring activity and life to the neighborhood, Francis said. The building will have one-bedroom apartments for senior citizens.

Monday, there will be architectural drawing of the buildings, floor plans for the new center and drawings showing how the new two buildings will fit together.

In the future, the plan will have to be reviewed by city regulators, such as the planning and zoning boards.

The fund raising for the project has taken off after being stalled for years. The city of Nashua will pay up to $2.4 million for the activity center portion of the project, along with money raised by its members.

The federal government is contributing around $790,000, along with an additional $3.3 million from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to pay for the construction of the housing.

The project is part of a larger change: The Community Development Division wants to improve the riverbank as part of river walkway project.

Andrew Nelson can be reached at 594-6415 or