An existing single story wood frame municipal senior center was doubled in size in order to serve an expanding population of older Town residents.
For many people, the local senior center is not just a place to socialize, but the place where trained staff will see that they receive badly needed help and services, ranging from diabetic foot care to winter fuel assistance to home care support. The expanded Russell Mercier Center was designed to provide a warm, supportive, and flexible environment to address these needs. A welcoming entry with a porch and spacious lobby was designed to allow visitors to congregate informally and to facilitate bus trip departures and returns. Expanded offices allow staff to work effectively and to have privacy for meetings with individual seniors. A large multi-purpose room with a folding partition and adjacent catering kitchen accommodates the lunch program and numerous other activities. Smaller rooms include a library, a computer/TV room, lounge with billiards table, and wellness room. Carefully located doorways allow the social and activity spaces to be interconnected to accommodate large events, such as an annual fair which is open to the whole community. A new handicapped accessible rest room, a storage room for tables and chairs and ample closet space are also part of the enlarged facility. The health and comfort of the building occupants are enhanced by a foyer at the main entrance to reduce heat loss in winter, large windows and glazed doors to provide plentiful daylight and views of the lovely hillside setting, and indirect lighting to reduce glare and the visual strain. The professional staff worked closely with the architect to select materials and colors that would create a home-like ambience.