The clouds wept a downpour, yet the smiling crowd couldn’t be subdued by a little rough weather as they stood under their umbrellas and watched the the Tolles-Parsons Center topping-off ceremony on Washington Street in Wellesley. About 50 volunteers, stakeholders, Council on Aging staff, and those who are simply looking forward to taking advantage of the Center when it opens were on hand to cheer the latest milestone along.
The project got its start with former Wellesley resident Billie Tolles’ $825k bequest to the town back in 2005. Generous, indeed, but in a town where that kind of money will get you a few bedrooms and 1.5 baths, not an entire senior center, it was just a start. It took until 2016, after several starts and stops, for voters to agree to kick in about $5.5 million through a debt exclusion.
The Center is expected to open in fall of 2017, undoubtedly during a ceremony when today’s skeleton of a building will be celebrated as a fleshed-out, fully functioning place. At that point, it will just be a matter of adding senior citizens. Judging from the number who have told me they never thought they’d see the day, and the few who claim they won’t go anywhere — and they do mean ANYWHERE — until they do, that should be no problem.
As of the end of September 2016, the Tolles-Parsons Center foundation is complete. The foundation has been insulated, waterproofed and backfilled. Underground piping for plumbing (toilet rooms, sinks and kitchen) is being installed, along with electric conduits which will be under the first floor concrete slab. The first floor concrete slab-on-grade was placed in early October. Structural steel arrived on the job-site in mid-October and was erected by mid-November. Roof trusses arrived on-site for installation in the latter half of November and the second floor framed concrete slab was placed at the end of November. The exterior walls of the building will be framed in November and December, and roof sheathing and shingles will be installed by the end of 2016.