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NewCal Community Update - Shared screen with speaker view
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
30:10
What is the difference between participate and panelist
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
31:09
Thank you
Alice Ingerson
32:28
Tonight does illustrate one good thing about remote meetings: how else we could have 200-400 people at a community meeting?
Arthur Glasgow
35:25
Please ask everyone not speaking to mute their microphones so that speakers may be heard more easily
Kalpana Guttman
55:43
This building echoes the Newton Free Library, pulling together important civic and community centers in Newton. Wonderful!
Vivienne Shein
56:04
What is inside the dark red closed wall without windows above the garage?
Arthur Jackson
57:13
Where is the outdoor green space? The current building has a very nice little park in front of the building facing Walnut Street and creates a very nice ambience for those in the neighborhood. It's unfortunate that this design does not leave any outdoor green space for residents who might not be using the senior center.
Vivienne Shein
57:26
Why are there no windows into the gym?
Diane Pruente
57:37
The gym is the space with no windows
Kalpana Guttman
58:29
The gym has clerestory windows
Diane Pruente
58:38
Seniors also use the outdoor garden and I’ve heard that classes are out there also.
Scott Aquilina
59:20
It is very good to see not only quality exterior design but also quality, traditional exterior material. This will not look like typical new commercial or housing projects, not should it. Be careful about the use and placement of the cupola so that is does not look silly. It may be too small for the building. At City Hall and Newton Library the cupolas are much larger and in keeping with the overall scale of the building.
Laura Foote
59:54
It would be helpful to integrate the planning with the evolution of the Swedenborgian Church right across the street at 19 Highland Avenue - there are outdoor garden spaces, assembly space, office space and parking there.
Carol Sklar
01:00:12
Do not like the gabled roof; too boxy and confining . does not look well from street
LisaGordon
01:00:15
Will you be using real bricks?
Scott Aquilina
01:00:59
They will be using real brick. There really is no other choice. No worries there, Lisa.
Vivienne Shein
01:02:47
What do you mean by the glass windows of the gym being impacted? Wouldn't it be good if people outside saw active seniors exercising, dancing and having fun!
Arthur Jackson
01:03:58
Did the architects attempt to create a universal front door using the current Senior Center Building? It seems some creative design could have accomplished this.
Suzan Chatis
01:06:32
I
Suzan Chatis
01:07:14
I think
Suzan Chatis
01:08:38
Was there no way to have a sorely needed new senior center in
Scott Aquilina
01:08:41
Arthur, I am told they did study that. The current door is at least 6 feet above the sidewalk level. The ramp required to make up that difference are at least 72 feet long without landings. The only alternative to a ramp is an elevator. Outdoor elevators are a no-go in terms of maintenance so it's an interior elevator inside the entrance to the building. What about all the other doors into the building? Same problem.
Bill Humphrey
01:10:48
Such dishonesty. Shameful.
Suzan Chatis
01:11:25
Wasn't finished, couldn't the new center be designed more in scale with the other buildings on the street? thx
Nancy Felts
01:11:27
These are very thoughtful designs with solid materials. They are reminiscent of the library as appropriate for a civic building. The gable roof design feels heavy I personally prefer the pyramidal roof design, as long as shading of some type is provided at the outdoor seating areas. The cupola feels too small I feel both options would benefit with it being eliminated.
Sandra Davidow
01:13:56
where are these windows. I've never noticed them
Arthur Jackson
01:14:19
Bill Humphry why is the city disregarding its own Historical Commission which has indicated that the building should be preserved? Don't city officials respect the Historical Commission?
Laura Foote
01:14:50
Lance Kasparian is a Preservation Architect with the National Park Service, and a member of the Charles Connick Stained Glass Window Foundation. The Connick Windows are at the North and South end of the original large reading room.
Sandra Davidow
01:15:08
so on the sides. not facing walnut?
Scott Aquilina
01:16:34
Hi Alison! The Warren House is more like what is being proposed here so you are right, it should be compared.
Sandra Davidow
01:16:37
the argument here is to keep a mal-fitting colonial style building in a Victorian neighborhood?
Laura Foote
01:16:59
Here are some sources about Charles Connick https://www.cjconnick.org/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Jay_Connick
Arthur Jackson
01:17:30
No-but I hope to in a few years! I'm in favor of renovation of the senior center. There doesn't seem to have been enough creativity when trying to use the current building with the needs of those with disabilities. Why do you need a full scale gym? There are other gyms all over the city. If you built a smaller gym the whole design would fit better with the neighborhood.
L Goldman
01:19:29
the gentleman who just spoke commented that the neighbors were blindsided by the design.This is false. These meetings have been public and the process has been transparent. We have been attending meetings for well over two years, all available over zoom. We have spent time and thought to the design and use of the space, needs of the community and abutters. The old building is an encumberence and has outlived its use. The design is well thought out. Please go forward as planned. The time to argue for saving the old, outdated and inaccessible building is past.
Arthur Glasgow
01:21:34
The main library and the branch libraries have all been replaced by buildings that work. Form follows function. The present Senior Center building is outdated as library and certainly inadequate as a center for older adults.
Rebecca Masland
01:26:31
How many parking spaces will there be?
Diane Pruente
01:29:11
Will there be solar? With all that Newton is doing and saying about our need to address global warming, it seems there should be solar panels.
Gail Gordon
01:29:48
The abutters never got a decent letter so many of my neighbors did not know until October 2021 by accident
Ann Duvall
01:31:08
I am in total support of a new senior center building. We need to move forward and build it. As a former senior social worker and a senior myself, this design is meeting the needs of Newton seniors. I live on Madison Ave. and would like to use the center in the future. Incorporating the stained glass windows. I have been to many senior centers around the area, and the current center is not meeting the needs of our residents.
Rebecca Masland
01:32:50
Seniors will not be able to use terraces with no shade from the sun. Ask the residents of the Golda Meir House about that. Shade must be provided or heat prostration will be likely.
Vivienne Shein
01:34:08
I agree, Seniors will probably not use terraces which are not shaded.
Gail Gordon
01:34:35
FIND A NEW SPACE!!
Gordon Szerlip
01:34:40
Mr. Harrington do you currently use the Senior Center?
Ellen Sheehy
01:36:20
ha ha!
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
01:38:27
Gordon Szerlip - do you use the senior center?
Rebecca Masland
01:38:41
What seniors will be in a gym playing pickleball as has been suggested? None that I know. Why not an auditorium-style of space so that all kinds of performances and programs could be presented to an audience?
Paul pressman
01:38:47
I am Paul Pressman, a 36 yr newton resident and an architect, 73 yrs old. As someone who has worked on the renovation/new construction conflicts my whole career, it is clear to me that renovating the existing bldg would be a very poor choice. It would require enormous contortions to make this work for seniors.
Bill Humphrey
01:38:49
All of this was discussed and evaluated, with extensive public input, in 2019. It's time to move on.
Rose Day
01:39:10
Completely support Steve Farrell's idea to combine pool, senior center and ed admin buikding
Gordon Szerlip
01:39:42
Mr. Farrell...do you currently use the Senior Center?
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
01:41:01
Mr Szerlip…… do you currently use the Senior Center?
Gordon Szerlip
01:43:23
I do...and I am on the COA. I think it's important to know if you are a user of this building in judging their opinion.
Rebecca Masland
01:44:44
Gail Gordon speaks my mind. The design is way too large for the space. It needs to be located where there can be outdoor landscaped areas and where many more people can park.
L Goldman
01:45:13
I love the idea of moving the project to the Newton School Administration site and including an indoor/outdoor aquatic facility there. Cohkd tge School Administration Building be relocated to the Senior Center site?
Gail Gordon
01:46:18
I grew up here. my parents did go to this library. Keep history alive for the generations.
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
01:46:29
Thank you for your reply, I understand your perspective.
Scott Aquilina
01:47:02
Paul, like you have worked on adapting and renovating existing/historic buildings for many years so while I do think another location would be better for many reasons, I agree with your previous comment. Architects are professionals but they are not magicians. All problems are not solvable. Accessibility is one of the most difficult issue to solve and if you are not careful, the solution can take up a lot of useful space while increasing cost.
Sandra Davidow
01:47:14
I used that library too. they had a great children's room.
Vivienne Shein
01:47:56
For those new to the process and and are suggesting looking elsewhere, perhaps Josh or someone else you could review what happened when the City suggested other sites for the Center. In every case there was so much opposition! We can't go back to that process!!
Sandra Davidow
01:48:08
also, there is no denying that old building is pretty, but it's broken. It doesn't work and cannot be made to work
Ann Duvall
01:48:42
It does seem short sighted on the part of the City. If the senior center, the pool complex and the Ed Center need to be renovated, the city should look at planning all of these projects on the same comprehensive plan.
Gail Gordon
01:50:08
The building can be used for something else and find another site for this design
Carol
01:50:29
There is a $200,000,000 high school a block away that we paid dearly for. I see no reason for the focus to keep coming back to where will the high school students sit.
Gail Gordon
01:51:21
The highschool basketball court and pool could be used by seniors
Vivienne Shein
01:51:25
Well said Homer!
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
01:51:45
Homer - excellent comments!!
Laura and dan Shaw
01:51:58
Yay, Homer!
Scott Aquilina
01:51:59
Homer, you hit the nail on the head.
Sherry Klein
01:52:50
The third floor outside deck space will only be accessible during the hours the senior center is open. The current green space on Walnut Street is now accessible 24/7. People gather there at all times - nights and weekends when the new center will be closed.
Ann MacKay
01:53:08
We are in favor of going with a new building; thank you for all of your efforts! Just to mention “the park” on the Walnut Street side, it is an eyesore which is not used by seniors.
Gail Gordon
01:53:37
Newton lost many opportunities to use Austin Street or 1114 Beacon St.
Gail Gordon
01:55:00
not on this site
Diane Pruente
01:55:01
What are the other gyms that are available to us. I never see anything about using the school pool. These facilities are not available to us.
Karen Lourence
01:55:09
I am a current user of the senior center and I support the plan for the new building. It will be a great addition to the future of Newtonville. In a city where land is scarce, we need to recognize we have to re-use existing land in new ways.
Bill Humphrey
01:55:46
The renovation scenario was extensively evaluated and presented to the public, and it was rejected for being seriously inadequate and convoluted and contorted. It's simply not true that no one has looked into how to make it work. It was carefully considered and rejected for cause.
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
01:56:11
Will Brockton - yes!!!!! People are more important than buildings!
Ann Duvall
01:56:13
If you get a chance drive by the Brookline Senior Center. Its in the middle of the street and Coolidge Corner.
Vivienne Shein
01:56:18
Hear Hear! People are more important than buildings!
Maureen
01:56:32
I agree with several comments above. We are discussing a new SENIOR center. Whether the park or gardens are suitable for high school students is moot; they have a large high school with grounds and activities
AprilMuhl
01:56:33
Does anyone know what the maximum occupancy is for the new building?
AprilMuhl
01:56:54
I'm worried about the 30 parking spaces
AprilMuhl
01:57:31
Seniors do need a gym. We need classes and socialization.
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
01:57:45
Kalpana - excellent points!
Allison Sharma
01:58:42
Well said, Will. People are more important than buildings. We would be remiss to make a choice that would exclude or deter any residents from coming to and enjoying the benefits of the senior center.
Allison Sharma
01:58:58
Everything John Pelletier said.
Gail Gordon
01:59:06
Parking issue big problem
Diane Pruente
02:00:18
What is the New Art Center going to be used for it they move to the Church? Can part of the Sr. Center be housed there? This would allow the Sr. Center to be smaller.
Janet Sterman
02:00:40
Of the "200 meetings", where is the community needs assessment for a full blown "Center for Active Living"?What is the approved funding for this project? When was it approved and by whom?
Richard Rasala
02:00:41
I support the all new Senior Center approach to NewCAL because it is the only approach that allows ground level, universal, and welcoming access for all older adults. Using the existing building in an addition/renovation mode makes one contend with two major drawbacks. (1) The main floor is 6 feet above ground level and there is no way to provide welcoming access. (2) The windows in the main rooms of the existing building start 6 feet above floor level, that is, 12 feet is above the ground. Almost no senior is tall enough to see out of these windows. Therefore, seniors in the main rooms seem totally detached from the community. This is not supportive of seniors.
Arthur Jackson
02:00:45
This is not about people over buildings. This about creating something that ALL Newton residents can appreciate. If you don't use the building, does that mean that you don't get an opportunity to have any imput?
Arthur Jackson
02:02:34
When the new building is built you will have plenty of room for your classes without a 6500 sq gym.
Donald F Ross Jr
02:03:29
I have lived in Newton since 1983 and use the Senior Center and want to be able to use it n my lifetime. Many, Many people do support the building of the new building rather than renovate. All these issues have been debated for the last 3 years with hundreds of public meetings. I play sports and we need a full sized gym. Other gyms are heavily booked and not available. We must move ahead and build the new Center and not revisit old issues already debated.
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
02:04:22
Barbara - absolutely - hearing coils are essential!
Gordon Szerlip
02:04:39
Bring On Pickleball!!!
Gail Gordon
02:04:56
It sounds like everyone is in favor of the new design and to build the new senior center. It is just too big for this small area. Find another space.
Gordon Szerlip
02:07:07
@Gail Gordon...where do you have in mind?
Kalpana Guttman
02:07:54
I love that the new design will allow seniors to see and be seen. Not hidden away!
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
02:09:19
Vivienne - great points you are making!! There is no place that will ever be absolutely perfect!
Vivienne Shein
02:12:33
Over 100 Seniors have been attending the zoom Zumba class - We definitely need a large space for this activity!
Kalpana Guttman
02:12:36
Well said Charlie and Kit! We can
Karen Lourence
02:12:44
Village setting really is a good place-grocery store, restaurants, coffee shops makes it an appealing location. Someone mentioned the Brookline Center at Coolidge Corner. A new building in this site would be like that.
Kalpana Guttman
02:12:50
We can’t start all over again!
Vivienne Shein
02:14:38
Well said, Louise!
Gordon Szerlip
02:17:02
Mr. Morris...are you a current user of the Senior Center?
Gail Gordon
02:20:50
The building is not broken
Alice Ingerson
02:21:15
I'm concerned that swapping the locations of the Ed Ctr and NewCAL, as some have proposed, would put what is essentially an office bldg. (the Ed Ctr) in a village center, near transit, a grocery store, a pharmacy, cafes and restaurants, etc., and a community ctr (NewCAL) in a location with none of those amenities. I doubt the Ed Ctr will reinforce the "activation" of Newtonville outside of office hours that Bram Way and other recent changes have begun so promisingly.
Gordon Szerlip
02:26:39
Mr. Block...are you a current user of the Senior Center?
Bill Humphrey
02:27:01
This was a very well attended public process, both during and preceding the pandemic. Some of the most crowded meetings I've ever been to in this city.
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
02:28:07
Donald - very well put!
Rose Day
02:28:27
is name calling necessary?
Gail Gordon
02:28:41
Why can't people use the gym at the Newton High School Basketball court is there.
Diane Pruente
02:30:03
The students are using it. When is it free for others to use?
Gail Gordon
02:30:34
That is something to explore
Diane Pruente
02:31:44
There is one pickle ball court available for our use now. If there was other gym space available, I think we would be having pickle ball there.
AprilMuhl
02:33:39
I have to take off guys. Thank you all for your input. I am a historian and as such value historic buildings as precious art history. It breaks my heart to see any one of them brought down or even modified, But as a senior I also realize that everything I badly need for my continued quality of life takes the sacrifice of something else in my life that I also greatly value. Newton and the Boston area in general are precious living conservatorships of incredible one of a kind historical edifices and we are always going to have to pick and choose which we must sacrifice in order to continue to raise our quality of life as seniors. I am so excited about the new building and can see that the design has done its best to bridge the needs of Newton's historical beauty and the needs and wants of Newton's senior population which is growing rapidly. I am a very active senior and feel I will use the new building continuously and look forward to seeing you all there if I can find a parking space (wink).
Laura Foote
02:34:35
Not all activities need to be in one building. Not all activiites that seniors enjoy need to be isolated in a senior center. There are other performance spaces available to both young and old, including at the recently renovated Nathaniel Allen House, and also at some of Newton's historic churches that are looking to be available more widely as community performance spaces. Let's collaborate together to look at diversifying use of other existing buildings.
Julie Norstrand, COA Newton
02:36:54
Richard - so true what you are saying!!!
Donald F Ross Jr
02:37:24
Can't shade be provided for the deck by other means than adding an expensive roof just for looks.
Gordon Szerlip
02:37:52
It's amazing that people that activate for "Right Size Newton" for the people of Newton, don't now care about people that are "Seniors"?
Laura and dan Shaw
02:37:55
Richard, you are wonderfully articulate about this issue. Thanks.
Gordon Szerlip
02:38:13
Well Said Richard!!
Kalpana Guttman
02:38:51
Thanks Richard for voicing the frustration of seniors who are waiting for a new senior center that meets our needs.
Ann MacKay
02:39:55
thank you Richard, well stated!
Kalpana Guttman
02:42:07
That sounds like a much greener building, Josh.
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
02:44:27
I fell off the zoom - did you answer the question about elevators, and how many
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
02:46:20
I think you should consider 2 elevators - lots of levels for senior and differently abled folks.
Laura Foote
02:46:26
Will there be coordination with the New Art Center which is looking to have art studio spaces across the street at the Swedenborgian Church at 19 Highland?
Gail Gordon
02:47:07
Highland ave should be parking on one side only
Vivienne Shein
02:47:15
I agree! What if one elevator is out of commission? You can't strand Seniors on other floors!
Gordon Szerlip
02:47:18
Cars are Passe`
Diane Pruente
02:47:26
Will there be mirrors in rooms for exercise classes so we can see what the teacher is doing when the have their back to the students. I stopped going to Tai Chi because I couldn’t see what the instructor was doing with his hands. Same is true for other classes as well
Gail Gordon
02:47:32
You impact my parking on my street
Luis Sanchez
02:48:44
As a resident of Walnut Place, I am concerned that parking on the street will be a problem. The street is narrow with a sharp turn near the senior center.
Sherry Klein
02:50:56
How much extra does the Gable roof cost?
Luis Sanchez
02:53:10
Was a basement considered ?
Donald F Ross Jr
02:54:29
What happens next? Do you need a city Council vote?
Donald F Ross Jr
02:54:34
Can the Historical Commission stop the project
Janet Sterman
02:54:49
ONE CAN HOPE
Janet Sterman
02:57:27
MAJOR MAJOR
Peggy Pober
03:03:42
Thank you Josh, and everyone, for all of your hard work.
Gail Gordon
03:04:20
Basement use?
Janet Sterman
03:07:12
SCHOOLS SOON TO HAVE LOTS OF EXCESS SPACE - DUE TO LARGE DE-ENROLLMENT IN NEWTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Janet Sterman
03:08:50
THE ACREAGE AT THIS SITE IS TOO SMALL
Gail Gordon
03:09:12
where are the seniors going to go at time of construction?
Janet Sterman
03:09:16
FAILURE OF PROCESS AS MENTIONED IN THE PUBLIC LIVE DISCUSSION
Carol Sklar
03:27:02
where will the staff park?
Laura and dan Shaw
03:27:57
the people who ant to preserve the historic building have a limited concept of about historical preservation -if you want to preserve a historical building the interior is as important as preserving the the facade the building has beautiful windows and wood work , ufortuantley an ad-reno would remove the lovely historical features and if they remain the building is unusable as a senior center. the priority is to create a modern building that welcomes seniors and has space the is bright open and uplifting building have a profound effect on peoples attitudes and mood
Laura and dan Shaw
03:32:59
the ad-reno as many have said closes seniors in and keep s then isolated 6 feet above ground level and unable to look out the windows - current building interior is oppressive
Gail Gordon
03:46:58
Thank you Jane and Josh and everyone to listen to everyone!
Laura and dan Shaw
03:48:13
i can’t type
Aline Sammut she/her/hers
03:49:24
READ OUT LOUD!!! You Rock Josh!!!
Alice Ingerson
03:49:44
Thank you Josh for tonight, let alone for everything else you've done.
Janet Sterman
03:53:24
Good Job Josh
Janet Sterman
03:53:56
I disagree with this project, but the city is in good hands with you
Kalpana Guttman
03:55:54
Many thanks for everything, Josh and the people on the working group!
Gordon Szerlip
03:59:14
Good work guys!!