Seniors in Jackson now have bigger center

Friday, August 26, 2005

More than 100 seniors celebrated the official opening of the new Jackson senior center Thursday morning.

The new center at 2690 Travelers Way gives the seniors more room and a better equipped kitchen for the meals served there.

Jo Boyer with Application Personal Papers Legal and Environment, or APPLE, helps seniors with paperwork and questions about Medicare.

"They were so crowded in the other building," she said.

She said it was difficult to find a place to sit and talk with seniors one on one but that the new building has plenty of room and is much more convenient.

Dewey Wolfenkoehler spent time at the old center and said he thinks he will come to the new building more than he did at the old building because there are separate rooms for people who want to play cards.

"It's a lot bigger and nicer," he said.

Bernice Hayes said she did not go to the old center. The first visit for Hayes and her husband, Keith, was Thursday.

She said they live two blocks away and can walk to the new center.

Hayes said she is looking forward to coming over during the winter to visit with their friends and eat lunch at the center occasionally.

After problems with subcontractors the building finally opened. Lester Maevers, vice president of the board of directors, said one problem they encountered that delayed getting into the building was acquiring more land. He said when they acquired 22 more feet they had to have the engineers and architects look at it. What it cost them in time, he said, was made up for in cost savings.

"We're real proud of the fact that we saved as much money as possible and we got what we wanted," Maevers said.

What they wanted was more space, said Richard Aguilar, president of the board of directors.

"We outgrew the other one," he said.

The old building is for sale and the senior center will receive the profits from the sale, Aguilar said.

They are still trying to raise $100,000 of the $800,000 cost of the building to pay off the building.

The rest of that $800,000 came from a grant from the state of Missouri, Cape Girardeau County, an anonymous donation of $100,000, Procter & Gamble and the Lichtenegger family donated the land worth $125,000.

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