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Sue Guinn Legg

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Jonesborough leaders eye winter completion for new seniors center

June 30th, 2014 9:42 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Jonesborough leaders eye winter completion for new seniors center

Though the steel 'skeleton' of the new Jonesborough Seniors Center is complete, Mayor Kelly Wolfe said he expected construction to be completed in its entirety by the end of this year. (Photos by Sue Guinn Legg/Johnson City Press)

The steel skeleton of Jonesborough’s new $2.3 million seniors center is up, and work to put the building under roof began Monday.

Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe said Rainey Construction is now “boxing in” the building, putting it on track for completion late this year.

“If it goes into next year a little bit, that’s alright. We don’t want to rush it,” Wolfe said.

Working through a light rain, contractors nailed the first piece of plyboard into place on the back corner of the building’s roof early Monday morning.

Excavation at the construction site at East Main Street and Longview Drive began in September and the town ceremoniously broke ground on the project in late November with hopes of seeing the building brought out of the ground by spring.

But with the extremely cold weather that arrived in the area in early December and the typical winter conditions that persisted through March, spring arrived with only minimal progress visible to observers anxious to see the new 13,000-square-foot building take shape.

Jonesborough Building Inspector Jay Green was assigned to the project full time to help speed the permitting process as warmer, dryer weather moved in, and the construction has since progressed quickly.

Designed by Ken Ross Architects, the new facility will provide four to five times more programming space than that available at the small, but busy, Jonesborough Seniors Center currently located at Persimmon Ridge Park. Amenities will include a multi-use dining room for dinners, dances and large meetings, exercise, craft and game rooms, a computer lab, a parlor and a lobby.

The building’s lower level will remain unfinished upon its opening, the victim of an extensive trimming of the original designs that came in approximately $2 million over budget. The unfinished space has been designated for the addition of a kitchen when more funding becomes available.

The project is being funded through a $2.3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development.

Washington County has committed another $500,000 to the project to be allocated after the construction is substantially complete. Town leaders hope the county’s funding will be available to finish the center’s lower level.

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