... ribbon cutting on September 30th
First look by sidewalk supers -- just before publication -- of the nearly-but-not-quite complete Lounge at the Milano Center: Left to right are Milano Coordinator Georgie Lewis and volunteer Ellie Forrest.
Photo by SilverStringer Shirley Rabb
Mayor Robert J. Dolan is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of the Carriage House Lounge in the Milano Senior Center on Friday, September 30, 2005 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. The public is cordially invited to witness the remarkable transformation that has occurred in the lower level of this historic carriage house built in 1895 and converted to its current use as the Milano Senior Center in 1995.
Rita, Georgie and volunteer Tara Deeble in the "east lounge", after and before.
The $200,000 renovation ($180,000 for construction costs and $20,000 for computer equipment and furnishings) was designed by Courtstreet Architects, Inc. of Newton. It includes an eight-station, fully networked computer classroom with printer, scanner, and high-speed Internet access, a much-needed health office to provide individual health services in a dignified and private setting; and a drop-in/multipurpose area to serve seniors who do not wish to or are unable to participate in organized activities. The general contractor for the 1,200 sq. ft. renovation is Langton and Douglas Contacting, Inc of Somerville. Work began in September 2004 and is expected to be complete by the end of the summer.
The pipefitter and (later) several early loungers. The computer center (at far left) still requires assembly.
In May 2003, the Melrose Friends of the Aging kicked off a capital campaign to renovate the lower level of the Milano Senior Center with a $10,000 donation. Since then the fund raising committee, in the capable hands of Jim Driscoll, raised $200,000 from over 700 donors! The vast majority of donations came from local residents and participants at the Milano Senior Center. Major donations were received from local businesses and community groups, the Melrose banking community, and private foundations. No city money was used on the renovation.
The kitchen in the east lounge.
Speaking of the renovation, Council on Aging Executive Director Jack Beckley states, “As the baby boomers are set to begin retiring, it is thrilling to see the Milano Senior Center adding much-needed program space in such a beautiful fashion. Finishing the project speaks well of the generous spirit of our Melrose community and to the forward thinking if its Council on Aging, chaired by Eileen Olsen, members of Melrose Friends of the Aging and its president, Rita Quinn Dietrich, and Mayor Rob Dolan who supported this ambitious project despite the city’s recent financial hardships.”
Photos by Stringer phototeam members Shirley Rabb and Louise Fennell.
September 2, 2005