Asbestos, Lead Paint, Mold Found At Senior Center

DEERFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Three western Massachusetts towns are looking for a new home for their senior center after an environmental assessment found asbestos, lead paint and mold in the 90-year-old building they had been using.

The South County Senior Center in Deerfield served seniors in that town as well as from Sunderland and Whately, The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.

The center has had limited use since it was shut down by the pandemic in March 2020. Area seniors recently have been using a tent on the front lawn for programs. But with winter approaching they need an indoor space.

The Deerfield Selectboard has been making plans to move seniors into the South Deerfield Congregational Church. But the church needs accessible bathrooms and ramps as well as general maintenance, board Chair David Wolfram said.

Meanwhile, fixing and cleaning up the current senior center could cost as much as $4 million, Deerfield Police Chief John Paciorek Jr. told the Senior Center Board of Oversight meeting earlier this week.

He is involved in the search for a new space.