I am posting the article below on behalf of the Lexington Senior
Advocates (LEXSA). It was written by LEXSA chairman Jim Goell, and
includes useful information information regarding current senior center
Dear Town Meeting Members,
There has been a great deal of discussion on the TMMA website and
elsewhere concerning the White House and Cohoes sites. The Lexington
Senior Advocates (LEXSA) respectfully offer the following for your
consideration of the two sites:
Senior Center in general:
The Council on Aging (COA) has estimated about 24,000 square feet are
needed for a new senior center and 2,800 square feet for Adult Day Care
(ADC). The study consultant is further developing this figure.
Preliminary information is that the consultant's feasibility study will
show that senior center space will drop to around 20,000 square feet and
day care space will rise to about 7,000 square feet. There are pros and
cons to having both on the same site. The combined parking requirement
is somewhat over 100 cars.
The current White House is in poor condition and must be either
renovated or replaced to make any use of it. If it is renovated, the
cost will be more or less the same for various possible uses. The cost
of renovation should be somewhat less than replacement. Note that much
of the building is not historical and there is some indication that the
Historic District Commission (HDC) would allow removal of the
For use as a senior center, additional space is needed. There is some
indication that the HDC might allow moving the structure closer to Mass
Avenue. Together with removal of the non-historic portions, this will
release space for parking. The move of school personnel and the
impending move of the Engineering Department from town hall to the new
DPW building both release parking spaces. General re-layout of the lot
and redesign of the entrance next to the police station could also add
an additional number of parking spaces. The study architects are working
to quantify the number of spaces needed and that could be provided.
There are 12,000 square feet on the first floor. Re-layout would be
required as it is now an open space. On the ground floor 8,392 square
feet have been finished and there is another 4,150 unfinished. Usability
of the ground floor is subjective. Additional construction might be
possible above the current structure or over the parking lot.
Personal inspection and Google Earth shows 3 rows of parking with 15
cars per row plus about 6 additional spaces. Some or all of these spaces
are assigned to the Lemon Tree restaurant.
The assessed valuation is $3.676 million. Presumably the building could
be bought, through eminent domain if need be, for something close to
that amount. It would result in an annual loss to the tax rolls of $89.4
thousand, equivalent to debt service on $1.05 million.
To be used as a senior center, Cohoes would need additional work and
probably an innovative split of the center's activities, yet to be
identified. The building would have to be purchased. Whether there would
be savings that could counter the substantial initial cost and lost tax
revenue would have to be studied.
We urge everyone to review the pending feasibility study report before
reaching any conclusions about the White House or any other site. At a
minimum, we should have requirements on which to judge sites and additional
input on what can be achieved at the White House.
Lexington Senior Advocates, Chairman