New Senior Center for Columbia Residents

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Back in 2010, the Columbia senior center was no longer inhabitable after a storm did damage to the roof.
The seniors were put into a small temporary space, but "temporary" turned into two years.

"They are so cramped right now; they just are at their wits end." Columbia Mayor Sandra Lovette said.

"We had plenty of room in the other one and you can see we are very crowded here." Senior Citizen Mary Snow said.

The elderly are sharing a room with the Columbia Police Department.
And have to switch off using the courtroom for activities.

"We go in the court room and exercise and I can hardly wait to get back into a big room." Senior Citizen Regina Blankenship said.

But Blankenship and her friends no longer have to worry.
They were given the good news this week that a new 3000 square foot senior center will start getting built.

"They will start on all the preliminary work next week, as far as all the dirt work that needs to be done on the side and the building pad." Lovette said.

"It’s very excited we have been looking forward to it every day and look to see if they are turning the dirt over out there." Snow said.

The town was given a 250-thousand dollar grant and will have Houston County road and bridge workers help them start the construction.

"I won’t have to fight the steps up and down there will be a bathroom that’s useable and the door will be able to be opened without fighting it." Senior Citizen Kathleen Leblanc said.

And with temperatures already reaching the high 90's, seniors say this center can’t get built quick enough.

"It gets to one hundred a lot of days." Snow said.

The new center will also have trees in the back yard for them to relax under and stay out of the heat.
Those seniors who stopped coming because of the lack of space will now be able to reunite with their friends.

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