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Senior Center Moving Out of Downtown State College

by on June 02, 2015 12:46 PM

The Centre Region Senior Centre in downtown State College is looking for a new home – and there’s not much time to find one.

At the Centre County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Centre Region Parks and Recreation program manager Niki Tourscher announced that the senior center will move to a new home after its current Fraser Street lease expires on August 31.

“We have a very short timeline to make this work,” Tourscher says. "It’s possible that for a couple months we might not have an official, permanent home.”

If CRPR staffers aren’t able to finalize a lease at a new location by the end of August, then the center may be temporarily based out of shared community spaces. Centre County Office of Aging Director JR Reed says the center may partner with local governments and other senior centers to continue hosting activities while the hunt for a new space is underway.

Tourscher says the plan was originally to move out of the Fraser Street space after 2017, but those plans were moved up once construction began on the Fraser Centre development across the street.

Because of the construction, Fraser Street has been reduced to a single lane and access to the Fraser Street parking garage has been restricted. Tourscher says this has made it increasingly difficult for some seniors to access the center, especially if they rely on public transportation.

But finding a new space isn’t as simple as just signing a lease. The new center has to have enough space to accommodate simultaneous activities; it has to be centrally located for the convenience of its patrons; it has to have a kitchen and other amenities; and it has to fall within the center’s fairly limited budget.

“This won’t be easy, but we’re willing to work hard to make it work,” Tourscher says.

Senior center patron and State College resident Marjorie Seward says she’s very fond of the current space, which offers flexible space and a convenient location. Though she’s not opposed to the move, Seward is reserving her judgment until she sees the new space. 

Seward and other senior center patrons echo Tourscher’s concerns about the need for a large, centrally located center. If the new space is located somewhere that keeps her friends from coming out, then Seward says she would not be happy about the move.

“We really enjoy this place, not just for the activities, but for all the good company,” she says.

 



Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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