Senior Center sees progress after nine months |

Senior Center sees progress after nine months

On Monday morning construction workers began work in a large, sunny room used as a dining commons by residents of the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments until burst pipes caused extensive water damage in January.

Lawton Construction Ltd., an Auburn-based company, sent workers to the apartments, owned by Cambridge Real Estate Services, to begin demolition and remodel of the kitchen, dining area and bathrooms that were damaged on Jan. 13 and 15 because of the frozen pipes that burst due to a record cold snap.

Wayne Lawton, owner of the construction company, said that work progressed slowly until now because of permitting issues. His company started painting and preparation work in July, but wasn’t allowed to start major renovations until a construction permit was issued.

Mike Lavallee, Town of Truckee chief building official, said the permit was requested on Aug. 31. He said it was routed through several agencies including the building department, the Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation District and Truckee Donner Public Utility District before being approved. He said the Nevada County Department of Environmental Health gave final approval on Sept. 27.

In an earlier interview, Lawton Construction’s general partner Brett Lawton, explained that his firm, which was retained in July, was the third hired by Cambridge Real Estate Services’ insurance company. Calls to the Portland-based real estate agency regarding the completion date and estimated cost of the remodel and inquiries as to why negotiations with the first two construction firms fell through, were not returned.

Meanwhile, Wayne Lawton said Monday that his company would begin installing more than 100 yards of carpet on today.

“We are moving ahead as fast as possible,” Lawton said.

A new carpet will allow the Sierra Senior Services to move its offices back into the building said Executive Director Melanie Kauffman.

“We hope for the end of October for offices,” Kauffman said. “I can’t begin to tell you how happy we are about it. It’s been a long time but we understand the process.”

Sierra Senior Services hosts about 30 seniors each day for lunch, and provides 100 meals a day for delivery by the Meals on Wheels program throughout Truckee and the north and west shores of Lake Tahoe. Their office provides a sort of ground zero for the organization of food delivery for the area’s seniors, Kauffman said in an earlier interview.

Blue Sky Home Center has provided the senior-aid agency with temporary office space that allowed Kauffman’s organization to rebuild some of the infrastructure lost when they were forced to move out of the senior apartments.

As for the community lunch, which used to be served in the cozy dining room at the senior apartments, the Town of Truckee has partnered with Aztec Transportation to provide free bus service to the Sierra Mountain Community Education Center in west Truckee.

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