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Newton

Newton mayor: City moving to break ground on new senior center in summer 2023

The Newton Senior Center.
The Newton Senior Center.Leslie Anderson

Newton will break ground in summer 2023 on a new senior center building to replace the existing Walnut Street facility, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller announced in a recent video.

Fuller announced the start of construction following a Newton Center for Active Living (NewCAL) Working Group recommendation in June that called for replacing the current senior center, which is located in a former library building built in 1938.

“Newton’s older residents have given so much to our community, and this project is our opportunity to proudly give back to them,” Fuller said in the video, which was released July 16.

On July 14, city councilors on the Public Facilities and Programs and Services committees voted unanimously in a straw vote to move forward with a new building, Fuller said.

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“As we lean in hard to complete the design for this wonderful project, please stay involved as we have many opportunities for people to weigh in,” Fuller said in the video.

The senior center now serves about 5,000 people each year, according to the working group’s report, and the city needs a larger facility to meet the needs of Newton’s growing population of residents age 60 and older. The Newtonville building was reopened as the senior center following a 1993 renovation.

The center provides a range of services, including recreational programs, support groups, health education, and elder law assistance, according to the report.

Fuller said the city also will be working on a permanent name for the new senior center, and suggested one option could be in honor of resident Audrey Cooper, who died last month at the age of 97.

Cooper was a longtime volunteer and activist for Democratic candidates. She also helped lead the committee that formed the senior center and then served on its board as president, according to Fuller.

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“Could this new facility be named the “Cooper Center?” Let’s see,” Fuller said. “We look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions on naming and so many other important decisions as we move forward.”


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.