WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 111 of 219

Even if its lot size hadn't forced the center to be two stories high, Catlin would have preferred multi-levels. "Two stories are great for elders," he said, pointing out that the National Council on Aging recom- mends climbing six to eight flights daily to stay nimble and fit. (An ele- vator will accommodate people with disabilities.) Describing the stairway as "wide open and dramatic," Catlin included modifications for accessibility. The risers will be six inches, rather than the typical seven inches. Made from black cherry — like much of the building's wordwork — the steps will be edged with an abrasive coating to prevent slipping and a fluorescent strip in case the lights go out. To prod people to climb those stairs, the second floor will include what are sure to be some of the center's most popular attractions, such as a game room containing pool tables and card tables. Next door will be a fitness area, equipped with a treadmill and other exercise equipment. One of its walls will be floor-to-ceiling glass and overlook the downstairs multipurpose room, which will have a beamed ceiling that slopes down from two stories to one story in height. Catlin imagines someone attending at a concert glancing up and saying, "That's Margaret up there up on a bike. Maybe I should talk to her about trying it." * * * As of now, the only dedicated space for seniors in Wellesley is a basement room on the ground floor of the community center made possible by a donation in the 1990s by Billie Tolles (see sidebar on page 112). The Council on Aging rents office space in the building as well, but must sched- ule the events it holds there around those of other community groups. Still, even with Tolles's subsequent donation, many in town ques- tioned the need for an independent center. "Every time we put up [a proposal], they would knock us down," said Bowers, who was named this year to the local paper's Townsman 10 in recognition of her relent- less drive for the senior center. Opponents asked why the seniors couldn't continue to share space in the nonprofit community center or, if that wasn't good enough, go to centers in Natick or Needham. Then there were other concerns. Even though the American Legion donated its property for the center, the Planning Board objected that more space was needed for parking. The Fitness Room the center will be open several nights a week to accommodate working boomers. Eventually , 110 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 A Place for Seniors to Grow Young

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