Secretary Santiago Tours State-of-the-Art CLC at Veterans’ Home in Chelsea

Special to the Record

 Secretary Jon Santiago joined staff and elected officials on a tour of the newly constructed state-of-the-art Community Living Center (CLC) on April 21 at the Veterans’ Home in Chelsea.  

“Constructing a sustainable living environment for our veterans is not only important for their overall health and well-being but is a gift to our planet,” said Secretary Santiago. “The Community Living Center uses energy-efficient technologies and will nurture our veterans’ physical, mental, and emotional health while dignifying their long-term care needs with a home that honors their sacrifice.” 

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jon Santiago (second from left) and Executive Director and Acting Superintendent of the Chelsea Veterans Home Robert Engell (left) listen as architect talks about the energy-efficient technologies being used at the state-of-the-art Community Living Center at the Chelsea Veterans’ Home.

Located atop Chelsea’s Powder Horn Hill, the CLC offers 154 private resident rooms and is constructed to be highly energy efficient. The building and systems design utilizes a performance-based approach and focuses optimally on energy efficiency. The tour highlighted many sustainability features, including geothermal heating, cooling, and natural ventilation in all public and private residential spaces.  

“This new facility is constructed using state-of-the-art technologies that are fully integrated to provide an earth-friendly, sustainable home for our Veterans into the future,” said Robert Engell, Executive Director and Acting Superintendent of Chelsea Veterans’ Home. “Its design creates a homelike environment to foster community and enhance the quality of life for our resident Veterans.” 

Geothermal heating and cooling provide energy savings, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve comfort for residents, and have significant cost savings over the life of the building. Additionally, the building has a 0.6-megawatt rooftop-mounted solar array, which reduces its reliance on non-renewable fossil fuels and is designed to use 71 percent less energy than what is required by building codes.  

“This new Community Living Center will give our Veterans the modern living space they deserve and serve as a model for new building developments that align with our climate goals,” said State Senator Sal DiDomenico. “I am proud to support projects like this that serve the men and women in my district who have sacrificed so much for our country. I look forward to working with Secretary Santiago to bring more housing upgrades for Veterans across my district and throughout the Commonwealth.” 

“Our veterans have gotten the short end of the stick in so many ways, so I’m thrilled to see that the Veterans’ Home in Chelsea is going above and beyond to provide these folks with a happy, healthy space — one that is making a positive impact of its own,” said State Representative Judith Garcia. 

The new CLC offers a healthy and comfortable living atmosphere for both residents and staff, with a range of amenities that include shared community spaces such as a bistro, chapel, art room, media room, library, physical rehabilitation, central kitchen, and direct access to Powder Horn Park, in addition to its environmental features.  

“The new Soldiers’ Home represents a very different way of providing long-term care for our veterans and is a new milestone for the state in our work to decarbonize our state buildings,” said Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Commissioner Carol Gladstone. “The Community Living Center model offers privacy and community in a sustainable building that provides a new landmark on the Chelsea skyline. 

Once operational, the new home will replace the existing Quigley Hospital Building.  

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