Chatham Selectmen Pick Middle Road as New COA Site


CHATHAM – The new senior center planned for Chatham finally has a new home.

The Chatham Board of Selectmen unanimously voted on Monday to locate the senior center in a wooded area near the transfer station on Middle Road.

The board decided on the Middle Road location to avoid building the new center in residential areas with young families.

Selectmen originally considered four locations owned by the town, including the current site on Stony Hill Road, a parcel in West Chatham near Volunteer Park, a field next to the community center, and the Middle Road site.

The four options were based on the need for land that can host a 10,000 to 14,000 square foot building at a cost of $7 million to $9 million. The Volunteer Park site saw little support.

Select Board Chairman Dean Nicastro argued that the Middle Road location would provide the best opportunity for development and expansion, but also says the current Stony Hill Road location is familiar to seniors and closer to downtown.

“I look at the existing site, which does have its limitations, but if you put aside, for the sake of argument, site preparation, and just look at the location and compare it to the other three locations, I think it’s a location that’s convenient and familiar to downtown and to other town facilities,” Nicastro said.

“It doesn’t have traffic issues, there are no deed and conservation restrictions, there is no disruption and encroachment on recreational facilities and uses, and there’s no aggravation of downtown parking issues.”

Nicastro went on to note that the Stony Hill Road location does have a downside.

“Yes, it has a downside. It is a smaller property. There would be a transitional problem or challenge if we decided to knock the existing building down and put a new building up there. We would have to have some type of accommodation for the needs of our seniors for the year or two it’s going to take to build that structure,” he said.

Selectman Peter Coeolis disagrees with Nicastro’s optimism of the current location, arguing that the existing building is too small.

“Less than a year ago I said we should have an appropriately sized building, and I believe that. The Finance Committee made a comment about value engineering and that strikes right to my background,” Coeolis argued.

“I have a lot more concern about what’s going to happen to the COA and where are they going to move? If we go to that (existing site), I’d sure like to see a plan of where that’s going to happen. The letter that came in talked about moving the COA functions to the community center. I see where you could potentially do that, but there are a number of programs that are there.”

The town-owned Middle Road property is 96,608 square feet and share a larger slice of land with wastewater treatment plant and the transfer station.

By TIM DUNN, News Center

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy