EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 17, 2013

Youth center upgrades proposed

ANDOVER — With the groundbreaking of the Cormier Youth Center fast approaching, town officials are still looking to modify the final features of the project — at an additional cost.

Tonight, the Board of Selectmen will hear two proposals for the youth center: one to expand the building’s proposed gym and the other to make it an emergency heating and cooling center.

The gym expansion, expected to increase the roughly 8,500-square-foot gym by 400 square feet, will add about $100,000 to the project’s cost, according to Town Manager Reginald “Buzz” Stapczynski.

Youth Services Director Bill Fahey, who will bring the pitch before the board tonight, will tap a department gift account to pay for the expansion, Stapczynski said.

“He is coming with money in hand to request that,” the town manager said.

The second proposal seeks an additional $50,000 to turn the building into a permanent heating and cooling center during emergencies like town-wide, prolonged power outages, according to Stapczynski.

Voters at Annual Town Meeting in 2012 already agreed to spend $125,000 “for designating and putting money into making a town building a heating and cooling center,” Stapczynski said. The additional funds will increase the size of the building’s electrical infrastructure, the manager said. It will not allow the building to act as a shelter, however.

The cost of the project is being held down because it will make use of the generator from the existing Bancroft Elementary School. The new Bancroft School being constructed will require a more powerful generator, according to Stapczynski.

“A shelter requires a whole set of requirements in terms of heating and utilities for showering and bathing, and shelter for animals,” Stapczynski said. “This is not designed to be a permanent shelter. We would partner with the Red Cross for that.”

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