Westfield Senior Center progresses

WESTFIELD – A subgroup of the Senior Citizen Center Committee is currently reviewing the qualifications of eight firms seeking to serve as the architect for the $6 million project.
Tina Gorman, Council on Aging executive director, said Monday that the city issued a request for qualifications.
“The response to the RFQ was due back by Nov. 29 and we had eight firms submit packages that are currently being reviewed by the selection committee,” Gorman said. “We hope to narrow that field to two or three firms which will be interviewed in January.”
Purchasing Director Tammy Tefft said that the RFQ was structured to identify firms with experience in senior center design.
“Eight companies submitting documents was a good response something of this magnitude,” Tefft said. “We want people who have experience designing a senior center.”
Tefft said a senior center has different requirements and design elements because of the needs of the population it is designed to serve.
The selection committee “will rank the eight firms in order,” Tefft said. “Usually we select the top three for interviews which will take place in January.”
The selection subcommittee also includes Gorman, Council on Aging members James R. Adams and Jack Leary, as well as a representative from Diversified Project Management Inc., of Newton, the city’s Owner Project Manager (OPM).
Tefft said that the OPM is selected earlier in the design process to assist the city select a design architect, and eventually and building contractor.
The architect will initiate its services by producing schematic design documents that will assist in establishing the final project cost. The city will then secure financing for the project as the final design is completed and architect produces construction documents needed to bid the project.
The city has selected the Mary Noble Estate on Noble Street as the construction site, but is still working to ensure that a senior center meets the requirement to serve senior citizens established in Mary Noble’s will. That land is currently owned by the Westfield Housing Authority.

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