By Leslie Tilson
Bath-Dewitt Connection staff writer
The Bath Senior Center received approval, at Monday’s Township Board Meeting, to install an acoustical ceiling over the main dining area in the center. The estimated cost of the project is $6,444.
According to Troy Feltman, township superintendent, the township established a separate fund for the senior center a several years ago. Their budget was pulled from the township’s general fund to allow for a balance to accumulate so the center could have extra money to put towards projects such as the acoustical ceiling.
“Basically, the general government contributes money to have this [Senior Center] operate,” said Feltman. “However, if they generate additional donations or they don’t spend all the money the can keep those retained earnings.”
Over the past two years, the center has accumulated approximately $7,400, in addition to their annual operating budget, of about $27,138, and has requested to utilize those funds for the installation of the new ceiling.
“There has been ongoing discussion about the needs for more sensitive acoustics in that building,” said Paula Clark, board trustee. “I really do support that. We need to do something, we have seniors sitting next to you who can’t hear a conversation and its not just because of hearing issues, its because the sounds just reverberate.”
Other ideas that have come up to help with the sound problem were carpeting the center, adding more decorations to the walls and adding additional R-13 insulation to the ceiling. However, the center decided that the acoustical ceiling was the most cost effective and would help the problem most.
“I would recommend that they use a shadow line tile,” said Rick Curtis, board trustee and general contractor. “It protrudes through the grid which knocks out sound better than just the flat tiles. I assume that’s what they are going to use. However, the R-13, additional product will do virtually nothing for the sound since the air gap of about 2-4 inches has very insulation, so I wouldn’t recommending spending extra on that.”