Concord Community Center prepared for renovation

Concord Community Center, housed in a 60-year-old former elementary school building, is scheduled to receive a face-lift in the coming months in the form of updated and more efficient windows. Lloyd Zastrow, a Concord Town Board supervisor for 45 years and town clerk for 38 years, stands in front of the facility on Concord Center Drive. Zastrow said replacement of the center's aging windows will likely be completed in 2020.

CONCORD -- The Concord Community Center, housed in a sturdily built, 60-year-old former elementary school building, is scheduled to receive a face-lift in the coming months in the form of updated and more efficient windows on its Concord Center Drive-facing facade.

"We are going to take out the old windows and put in thermal panes to make the windows more efficient as we heat the place. The results of this project will also cut down on maintenance," longtime Concord Town Board Supervisor Lloyd Zastrow said as he took the Daily Times on a tour of the facility Tuesday. "They will be aluminum-clad and will replace the wood facia. This will make it care-free."

The exterior of the building is brick and the windows, all original, are at least six decades old.

The contractor for the project is Gary Leverenz of Farmington. Leverenz's two-man business was the successful bidder this week after his offer to perform the first of two phases of the work for $20,000 was accepted by the Concord Town Board.

Leverenz was born and raised in Concord and attended classes in what is now the Concord Community Center when it was the area's grade school. The building was then part of the Watertown school district. Since the building's sale on May 17, 2004, the children of the Concord area are bused to Watertown for classes.

Another bidder for the project was Jeff Flood of Sullivan, but his bid was rejected in favor of Leverenz's lower offer.

"Leverenz has worked with us before, so we feel confident with him," Zastrow said.

"We hope to have the first part of the project finished this fall, so we can save some money on heating this winter," Zastrow said. "It will look less like a school and a little more like an office complex. You lose a little of the old charm, but things have to change sometimes."

The first of two phases of the facade window renovation will take place on the building's west end. According to Zastrow, the windows on the building's east end will be replaced, hopefully, in 2020, if the town can come up with funding.

The Concord Community Center is a relatively large, multiuse facility. It is the current home of the nondenominational, town of Summit-based Summer Harvest Church on Sundays. It also serves as the senior center for the community and plays host to everything from wedding receptions, and family Christmas and birthday parties, to bridal showers and town board meetings. It has four distinct rooms for these functions, with the gymnasium being the location of recreational athletic events and Summer Harvest's services. There is also office and storage space and a fully functioning kitchen that once bustled with cooks serving school lunches. The north-facing facility sits on a well-maintained property of approximately 5 acres, much of it well-maintained lawn.

"The building is paying its own way," Zastrow said. "Maintenance costs are quite high and all of the functions that are held there help pay for it. We put a new roof on it in the past few years. When you have a building of that size it can be costly."

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