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July 29. 2013 9:20PM

Construction begins on Hudson’s senior center/TV station

HUDSON — Construction on the new Hudson Senior Center and television studio is expected to begin sometime next month.

Preliminary site work began in mid-June, when construction crews from Brookstone Builders struck something solid beneath the soil.

“We did encounter ledge on the site,” town engineer Patrick Colburn said Monday, noting that work crews have been drilling and blasting the area for the past week.

Blasting should be completed early this week, allowing work crews to begin digging trenches to extend public utility lines, Colburn said.

The new facility, which will house both the Hudson Senior Center and Community Television, is being built near Benson Park’s entrance, off Kimball Hill Road.

The two-story facility is designed to fit in with the site’s existing construction as it will resemble a big red barn, with the TV studio operating out of the basement and senior activities held upstairs.

In late June, selectmen unanimously approved spending an additional $117,000 in contingency funds to address the presence of ledge.

Selectman Thaddeus Luszey said that the project still fell way below its initial budget range, in spite of unanticipated developments in the process.

“We still have a little bit left if we find any more surprises,” he said.

Colburn said the ledge problem “probably set back the construction process about 30 days.” However, he expects the building to begin taking shape sometime in August.

The facility is expected to be completed next spring, he said.

Voters in March approved a $1.8 million bond for the construction of the senior center and cable television studio on 2 acres inside Benson Park, a 165-acre town-owned park on the grounds of the former Benson’s Wild Animal Farm amusement park and zoo. Article 12 passed on a 1,766-1,418 vote.

Hudson is home to 4,000 or so senior citizens, town officials said, and many currently attend programs at senior centers in other towns, such as Windham and Nashua.

In 2011, the town formed the Hudson Senior Building Committee to oversee the process of building a local senior center.

The Hudson Board of Selectmen will meet again Tuesday, Aug. 6, in the lower level meeting room at Town Hall.aguilmet@newstote.com


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