By Adam Hocking
MARSHFIELD — On Tuesday night the Finance, Budget, and Personnel Committee approved a temporary lease to move the Marshfield Senior Center into a space in the Marshfield Mall, which was followed by final approval from the Marshfield Common Council. Moving the senior center comes as construction plans are ramping up for the new Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library, which will begin construction just north of the current senior center.
The seniors will occupy the space once held by the Hallmark store in the mall.
Bidding for construction of the library project is currently open with bids due back by May 28, and groundbreaking will likely occur in late July or early August of this year. The senior center will be demolished towards the beginning or even prior to the start of the library construction. It was initially planned that the senior center would stay in its current location until close to the end of the project.
The city went to the senior center group and explained that they could stay in the current location throughout the construction of the new library but that it would likely be less than ideal for them.
“We’ve talked to them (the senior group) about a month ago, and we said, ‘You can stay if you want to until the bitter end.’ That was always the plan, but you’re going to have noise, you’re going to have vibration, you’re going to have parking problems, you’re going to have access problems, … and when they got a sense of what it was going to feel like, they said, ‘Please find us a temporary place,’” City Administrator Steve Barg said.
Demolishing the senior center at the start of the library construction project will also increase the efficiency of the project, Barg said.
The lease for the seniors at the mall location—at a rate of $3,000 a month, which is paid by the city—is for 18 months with the possibility of two six-month extensions. Barg said that he would not expect the seniors to be in the mall location for a full 30 months and that they will likely be able to move into the new community center some time in 2017. The current library will be repurposed into the community center and will have a dedicated space for seniors.