Mayor Jon Mitchell and City officials formally reopened the Buttonwood Senior Center at a ceremony on Thursday, April 25, after an extensive renovation project. The renovation began in 2018 and concluded at the beginning of 2019.
The upgrades to the senior center included extensive interior and exterior renovation work on the building’s plumbing, windows, doors, masonry, security, lighting, and entrances. The building was constructed during the 1930s as a public works project.
Renovations included a new roof for the building including surface, insulation and trim; new electrical service and interior lighting; repointed masonry; new windows and doors for the building; a significantly updated kitchen and bathrooms; new accessibility ramp for handicapped entrance/exit; a new security system; and new exterior lighting.
The aging building was in need of repairs to its windows, doors, and masonry, as well as general upgrades in order to improve the offerings at Buttonwood Senior Center for local residents to use for socializing, dining and events. The project is part of the City’s ongoing effort to maintain New Bedford’s status as an Age-Friendly Community, a designation the City earned in 2018 as just the fourth municipality in Massachusetts to be named Age-Friendly. The designation is a livability index that measures quality of life for older residents in a community.
“The updated Buttonwood Senior Center will be an even better place for residents to gather and enjoy for years to come thanks to the significant upgrades to the building,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “New Bedford has been recognized for its commitment to its seniors because of projects like this one, which seek to enhance quality of life for residents of all ages.”
Council on Aging Director Debra Lee said, “We are excited to officially reopen the Buttonwood Senior Center for our residents to use after its renovation. The Council on Aging is grateful to the Department of Housing and Community Development for its key role in providing federal grant funding for the project, and for all City departments involved in this collaborative effort. I also thank our seniors who gave up their space for six months to make this beautiful renovation a reality – it was well worth the wait.”
The project utilized federal funding of $475,000 through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, administered locally by the New Bedford Department of Housing and Community Development. The renovation was a collaboration among City departments including the Council on Aging, Department of Facilities and Fleet Management, Department of Parks, Recreation and Beaches, and Housing and Community Development.