STATE COLLEGE — There is always a lot going on at Centre Region Active Adult Center in the Nittany Mall, from dance classes to bridge games. After all, they don’t call it an active adult center for nothing.
But, with so many activities going on, sometimes the programs disrupt each other. So the center is looking to apply for a state grant to install a partition in the center of the facility to allow for more private spaces.
Construction costs for a partition are estimated to be $41,195 and the center is looking for a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to cover the costs of the project. Centre County Office of Aging Director Kenneth Pendleton spoke about the project at the Centre County Commissioners board meeting on Nov.12, suggesting that the county provide a letter of support for the grant. The facility moved to the Nittany Mall in 2017 and has continued to improve and upgrade as it has seen growth in the number of seniors using the center.
“As you recall, we have had ongoing renovation and improvements to that center through the years,” said Pendleton. “This is another step in that process, looking to establish a physical partition in the center in an area that is more or less an open area.
“We believe it is important for the continued programming that is going on there at the senior center. We have many projects and many programs going on simultaneously and there is a lot of bleed over in terms of people being able to hear clearly what is going on in that area, and the visual distractions of having no partition. We believe that by having this partition it is going to make it even more conducive to senior utilizing the senior center.”
Center supervisor Cindy Stahlman said the cost of the partition is higher than originally anticipated because the center would need to construct a 15-foot structure to support the partition because of the drop ceiling in the facility. She said the center is approved to have the partition added to the facility and will use the grant money to cover the cost if it approved.
“It would extremely helpful to be able to do multiple programming. Right now, the noise, especially if they are trying to concentrate and play bridge and we have presenter talking, it is just very disruptive to both groups,” said Stahlman. “So it will just give us more privacy and more ability to multitask. It is really needed.”
In the mean time, the center is putting up some dividers to help separate the areas, a stop gap solution until the grant gets approved.
“It is very noisy sometimes when we are doing independent things and others are over there talking. Like playing bingo can be very loud,” said Verna Intorre, of Pennsylvania Furnace, while working on a Thanksgiving arts and crafts project while people played bridge on the other side of the room.
“We are one the few office of aging throughout the state that has an active and growing senior center population; others don’t. So we are very proud of that and we think having the potential of funding something like this would help us to continue to grow,” said Pendleton
The partition would extend from the exercise room to the back wall of the facility, allowing more quiet in privacy in the back room.
The commissioners agreed to offer a letter of support for the project.
“It sounds like a good idea. I know that usage is up a lot since they moved to the mall,” said commissioner Mark Higgins.