It won’t be long before senior citizens in the Auburn area will have a place to hang out with one another, play games, and just enjoy getting out of the house.
After two years of planning, and a few months since the groundbreaking, the city of Auburn’s Senior Center is almost done. The center, which is located behind the city park across from the senior apartments, is up and the finishing touches are being applied by C&C Construction.
The 4,084 square foot facility includes an activities room, warming kitchen, restrooms and office space. When entering through the front door, you are met with a very large activities room complete with a floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The warming ambiance of this center is sure to be inviting to all who use it.
That’s right, although the seniors will call this place home, the structure will also be rented out during the times when the seniors are not occupying it. Rather it be for wedding receptions or birthday and anniversary parties, people will be able to pay a small fee to hold their events there.
Building the center was one of Auburn Mayor Dewey Roche’s goals. He says his dream has now come true and he cannot wait until it is open.
Auburn has had two senior centers in the past, said Roche, but they eventually died off with those who frequented them. He said he thought there were many in Auburn who would utilize a place like what is being built. He said it was his dream to have a center in Auburn just like the ones in other cities in Logan County.
The city received a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in 2010 for the project. The city of Auburn has also chipped in an additional $100,000 for the project. According to Roche, it has taken this long to finally get going because of cost. The city bid out the project a few times, but kept having to go back to the drawing board because it was too expensive.
The center is expected to be open a few days a week to start with. A few volunteers have already come forward to help monitor the center while open, since the city does not have it in their budget to hire someone at this time. The city will paying for the monthly utilities at the center.
Roche says he hopes a volunteer will come forward and want to take on the role of director, a person who will plan events and information seminars at the center. He also hopes there will be some generous individuals and businesses that will donate furnishings for the center.
One of those generous individuals is councilwoman Jessie Duer, who asked for donations to put in more expensive lighting in the center in her husband’s honor when he died earlier this year.
“I think it is all about entertainment and information,” said Roche on the success of a center such as this. Roche says he hopes that programs can be brought in that will be sensitive to seniors’ needs.
One of the best things about the center is location. The center is built across from the town’s new senior apartment complex, that already has a waiting list.