New senior center opens in Somerville

A new senior center compete with a crafts room, handicap accessible restrooms, white fencing and a walking trail opened Wednesday with a ribbon cutting and open house Wednesday morning.

District 2 Morgan County Commissioner Randy Vest and Somerville Mayor Darren Tucker shared the honor of cutting the ribbon as an estimated 125 people looked on.

A reception with light refreshments followed in the center’s meeting room.

“We began talking about the need for a new senior center when commissioner Vest was elected,” Tucker said. “The town owned this site and we were able to work out a swap for the existing senior center. We’re now making plans to use it as a community center.”

“This has worked out well as a joint venture and we have a beautiful new building to show for it,” he added. I want that thank commissioner Vest and his employees for everything they’ve done to make it happen.”

“I want to thank everyone who has had a part in this,” said Morgan County Commission chairman Ray Long. “This is the second senior center Randy and his folks have built. “After getting a grant to build the one at Neel, we were not able to get grant money for this one, but Randy decided to take money out of the district’s road and bridge fund to build it. “I think that is a testament to his understanding of the need and willingness to go the extra mile to support Somerville’s seniors.”

Vest expressed thanks to everyone who worked on the project and singled out State Senator Arthur Orr for helping secure two grants totaling $12,500 to purchase furnishings and other needs for the center.

“It’s new and it’s beautiful,” said center manager Jeanette Hoskins.” The modern conveniences are great and we have more room so that we can accommodate more members.”
She said the center has 15 active members and 17 homebound members and operated from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We think it’s fantastic,” said 12-year member Ernest Lee. “We’re glad to be in and we hope we can encourage others to come join us.”

“I love it, especially the kitchen,” added C.L. Moore. It’s a big improvement.”

The center sits on a 1.2 acres lot and consists of about 3,000 square feet of living space. It has a manager’s office, two handicap accessible rest rooms, crafts room and living area with wide screen TV, kitchen and storage closet.

E-Tech Construction was the general contactor and Nelson & Associates was the architect. The cost of the facility was approximately $400,000.

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