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Designs coming soon for new senior center

The proposed new Butler County Area Agency on Aging facility, above, is on North Duffy Road. The county commissioners approved an agreement Wednesday for the conversion of the former Butler Health and Racquet Club building. Butler Eagle File Photo

Butler County on Wednesday took the first step toward turning 215 N. Duffy Road into a senior center and office space for the Butler County Area Agency on Aging.

County commissioners approved a $137,682 agreement with Moshier Studio to design the conversion of the building, which the county purchased in February, into “a senior center, supporting outreach programs and miscellaneous county administrative offices.”

The Butler Township property, the former home of the Butler Health and Racquet Club, also will house “bathrooms and laundry services” in the existing basement locker room. The county also hopes to add a kitchen and expand a mezzanine into an open office area.

John Campbell, county director of facilities and operations, told commissioners Moshier Studio’s proposal — which will include schematic design, design development and construction documents, and permitting and construction administration — “seemed like the best one” after he reached out to other companies for a proposal.

The Area Agency on Aging opted for the former racquet club site in October after touring several properties. Leslie Osche, county commissioners chairwoman, said at the time the agency’s current offices at the Sunnyview complex were plagued with mold, rodents and a backed-up sewer system that prevents workers from using some of the bathrooms.

Its location, as the agency noted in October, allows both workers and seniors to be near shopping, restaurants, salons and other businesses.

Commissioners first approved the purchase of the 215 N. Duffy Road property in December, for the purchase price of $437,500 — half the asking price of $899,000.

The county closed on the sale in late February. Weeks later, the agency’s advisory board noted some of the amenities seniors wanted to have at the new location, including spaces to host small groups, a place to serve hot lunch and potentially a coffee bar.