Dignitaries cut the ribbon on the renovated Patricia Carty-Larkin Senior Center. Left to right: State Senator Mike Rush, Westwood Town Administrator Mike Jaillet, Vice President Cynthia Peterson of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Westwood Selectwoman Nancy Hyde, COA Director Lina Arena-DeRosa, and Rep. Paul McMurtry. Photos by Maria Makredes
By Maria Makredes
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
On the morning of August 24, Westwood residents gathered to celebrate recently completed renovations to the Patricia Carty-Larkin Senior Center, named for the predecessor to current Director of the Council on Aging, Lina Arena-DeRosa. Arena-DeRosa has held the post of director for five years, the length of time it took from beginning discussions about the work that needed to be done, to seeing it all materialize.The Patricia Carty-Larkin Senior Center, established in October of 1998, had seen 20 years of wear and tear since its inception. The ribbon cutting ceremony served as an opportunity for a public “thank you” to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which partnered with the Town of Westwood to make the renovations possible. Brigham and Women’s Hospital granted the town $300,000 to update the facility, in this way cementing its presence as part of the Westwood community. In recognition of her institution’s key role in rendering possible the renovations, Vice President Cynthia Peterson, Regional Ambulatory Operations and Business Development, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, participated in the event.
The grant to Westwood’s Senior Center enabled many refurbishments, encompassing both the building itself as well as the grounds, in a relatively short period of time. Such refurbishments included updated insulation, siding, carpeting, columns, roofing, freshly painted walls, and new trims on windows. In addition, the Town of Westwood’s DPW Facilities Manager James McCarthy spearheaded efforts to upgrade the parking lot and sidewalks, which now meet ADA requirements, as well as to repave the driveways. Likewise, Thomas Philbin, the Town of Westwood’s Energy Manager, took pains to ensure the energy efficiency of the building, addressing insulation and siding. Finally, the work would not have been complete without Bill Abely’s fastidious attention to the gardening of the grounds.
The ribbon cutting featured remarks by Ms. Arena-DeRosa, as well as Council on Aging Board Member James M. O’Sullivan, Westwood Council on Aging Operations Manager Trish Tucke, Rep. Paul McMurtry, State Senator Mike Rush, Selectwoman Nancy Hyde, Westwood Town Administrator Mike Jaillet, and Cynthia L. Peterson of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Several persons aged 60 and older - who constitute one quarter of Westwood’s overall population - attended the ceremony.
The newly revitalized senior center hosts between 3,500 to 4,000 seniors each month for a wide range of activities, including the breakfast and bridge-playing that followed the ribbon cutting.
“It takes a village,” said Arena-DeRosa in her closing remarks, “and in Westwood, our village is nothing less than amazing.”