Dover Community Center – Dover, Massachusetts

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The Town of Dover selected Mills Whitaker Architects to prepare an assessment and master plan for a community center. The project included analysis of existing conditions, development of a building program, preliminary design and budgeting. The corner site in the center of town contains a former elementary school in three interconnected buildings dating from 1910, 1931 and 1971. The charge from the Board of Selectmen was to develop a community center that would be architecturally compatible with the town hall and library while serving the diverse needs of youth, families and seniors for the next century. Design explorations included studies to renovate the existing building, construct a new facility, or a hybrid of both.

Mills Whitaker Architects worked with multiple user groups to develop a program for the Council on Aging, Parks and Recreation Department, Community Education, Dance and Movement, municipal offices and other potential users of the facility. The resultant design was a new building that includes a Great Room, Senior Center, Gymnasium, Dance Studio, Activity Rooms and areas for future expansion.

The $18.5 million construction project to serve as a vibrant social hub for the town was never brought to Town Meeting due to the recession in 2008. Consequently, Mills Whitaker has assisted the Town with multi-year phased improvements to the former elementary school in lieu of

demolishing the existing and building new. Incremental projects have included selective interior renovations, exterior masonry repairs, roofing replacement, structural reinforcement , toilet room renovations and planning for future work.

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