Before an audience of senior-living advocates, politicians and residents of Concord Park, a spirited unveiling of the expanded facility marked a new era for assisted living in West Concord.
CEO Charles Gagnon reflected that completing the project during the pandemic meant seven work stoppages, but the crew from the Volunteers of America (VOAMass) got the job done.
There are now 13,000 more square feet of space, including 17 new apartments, a new theater, salon, fitness center, more memory care units and expanded community space.
The project opened in 2001, and 20 percent of the 96 apartments qualify as affordable. The project was funded through a $32 million tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency.
“There are now more ways to stay healthy and independent,” said Gagnon.
“This is part of a national movement to care for our older persons in the community,” he said.
He also pointed to the sustainability of the facility, with heat pumps and other “green” technologies.
“And we did it with minimal disruption to our residents,” said Gagnon.
Maynard Forbes, the so-called “mayor of West Concord” noted the significant changes to the neighborhood since he started working for his father at the former 5 and 10 store on Commonwealth Ave., changes that have improved the community.”
State Rep.-elect Simon Cataldo said during his recently concluded campaign, “one of the main concerns I heard was the ability to age with dignity in this community.”
“This building answers that question,” said Cataldo.
Sen. Mike Barrett (D-Chelmsford) cited the commitment to sustainability at the complex with the installation of heat pumps.
“Residential buildings are the keys toward meeting our goals and getting us off fossil fuels,” said Barrett. “You are leading the way.”