The following was submitted to SOURCE by District 8 City Councilor Judy Grove.
FRAMINGHAM – Framingham is fortunate in having an outstanding health department and the excellent Callahan Senior Center.
Sadly, this week we witnessed harm being done to them by the City Administration’s decision to move the Health Department into Callahan, causing the loss of the vital Alzheimer’s Disease program, the Gallery Gift shop and distress to our senior population.
Without seeking advice from the Council on Aging or any of the other valuable resources our community possesses, the Mayor had concluded that
no other location in our community was viable.
I would like to propose a location I believe will satisfy most, if not all, the criteria.
If anyone has taken a walk in Cushing Memorial Park, they have passed by two single-story classic, brick buildings. One is called the Academy Building and the other has no name.
Google “700 Winter Street” to see them.
Here are the reasons I think these two buildings might check all the boxes:
- They are owned by the City and managed by the Parks Department so no rent or RFPs would be required. There is a third much larger building near them which is used for storage by Parks.
- The Callahan Center is in the Parks &Recreation Division.
- These buildings are under-utilized and are currently unoccupied so no one would be forced to move out. The Academy building is primarily used for summer recreational programs but there is time to re-schedule them elsewhere.
- The buildings appear to be in excellent physical condition.
- The Health Department currently has 5,000 square feet of space, but Dr. Wong said they could manage with 3,000 and that all employees do not all have to be in the same location. The Academy building has 1,987 square feet and the unnamed building has 1,310 square feet which equals about 3,297 square feet. The buildings are within a few yards of each other.
- There is ample parking with 50 spots behind the Academy building and 4 right in front. There is another parking lot with 34 spaces closer to Keefe Technical High School.
- The buildings are handicap accessible including the bathrooms.
- The Academy building has a small kitchen with a refrigerator.
- The buildings are very close to a spectacular playground, a benefit for families with children.
- There would be no exposure to the public from visitors who might have communicable diseases like measles.
- These buildings are on the Southside, where the majority of Health Department clients live. There is bus service to this area which is right next to Keefe Tech.
- Keefe Tech students can earn certifications in First Aid, CPR, Alzheimer’s Care, and Medical and Nursing Assisting Certifications so a partnership with the Health Department could be another
benefit of this location.
This option should be given serious consideration by the Mayor.
District 8 City Councilor
Member City Council Finance Subcommittee