Chamblee, GA, November 30, 2016 – by Renee Turner, Staff Writer – This story has been updated – Asurety Construction was hired to complete construction of North DeKalb Senior Center (NDSC) after it sat dormant several months when construction was halted. While needing additional funding for completion, NDSC is the last of three newly constructed senior centers in DeKalb County.
AJC reported back in April that the original contractor was terminated by DeKalb County. Sarah Jones Page, Public Information Officer for the County is not able to comment on the details due to litigation proceedings, but said “the original construction budget was $3.2 million. We expended $2 million on the project with the prior company, Talbot Construction.”
The Community Development Department received a $14 million loan that was to pay off loan debt using Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the three centers. An additional $2 million was added to the budget bringing the new construction total to $5.2 million. The additional funding was obtained from HUD Section 108 Loan balance and the CDBG through projects labeled as slow moving or cancelled.
The centers are the combined visions of DeKalb County, the Bridge Builder Seniors and the late Commissioner Lou Walker. NDSC was scheduled for construction in 2012 after the property, which sits on 1.59 acres, was acquired by the County, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).
Construction of the “state-of-the-art facility” is nearing and the center is poised to begin serving the northern portion of DeKalb via Office of Senior Affairs which was established in 1999 for a growing senior population and to fulfill the Older American Act.
“We are very unique, in that very few jurisdictions have taken advantage of the [CDBG] program. We are proud of this work and the excitement generated by our DeKalb seniors about their new facilities,” Page said.
The County requested comments from the public upon review of the Proposed Substantial Amendment to the 2014-2018 Consolidated Plan (including the 2014 Annual Action Plan Substantial Amendment) for additional funding of the NDSC in October through local ads, the Chamblee and Decatur libraries, and the DeKalb County Community Development Department on 330 W. Ponce de Leon Avenue. No input was received from the public, however.
The new NDSC, located at 3393 Malone Drive (and Peachtree Road) in Chamblee, will feature an aerobic exercise room, multi-purpose classroom, an arts and crafts room, library, billiards room, game lobby, computer classroom, full-service catering kitchen, two outdoor patios, and state-of-the-art audio visual system. According to DeKalb, completion for the NDSC facility is near; the Certificate of Occupancy is forthcoming and a ribbon cutting is imminent.
Updated: According to a DeKalb County news release, the North DeKalb Senior Center will open its doors on December 1st.
“This center will serve as a welcoming gathering place where area seniors can learn new skills and participate in exciting activities,” said DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May. “DeKalb’s Senior Services and Facilities Management departments worked together to open a top-notch building that the community can use for years to come.”