The Faulkner County Senior Citizens Center is moving Saturday to its new location on Siebenmorgen Road.

Debra Robinson, executive director of the senior citizens program, said, "It’s finally here. It seems like it has taken a long time. It was a year ago April when we had our campaign kickoff. When you really look at it, that’s a pretty great accomplishment to get it done in a year. We’re glad the day has finally come. We’re hoping we will reach new people. We’ve had so many people say, ‘When you get to the new place, we’re going to come.’ We’re very anxious to meet new people and let them enjoy the services that our current seniors are enjoying, plus more."

The program has outgrown the old facility on Donaghey Avenue, which only has enough room for one or two activities at a time. The group’s calendar is packed with activities, and some of them have been shuffled around or canceled due to a lack of space at the old facility.

Robinson said, "We can have more than one or two activities going on at the same time. We’re very limited at (the Donaghey Avenue facility) because we only have the one room. Over at the new place there will be rooms for everything. Activities won’t be limited to one day a week. We’re going to have a fitness center. We’ll do lots of things."

She said the only changes that were made to the inside of the building, which was formerly Agora Conference Center, was to the kitchen.

"The main thing we had to do was renovate the kitchen. It was really small, so we had to make it bigger," Robinson said.

Also, a brick and stone façade was built on the front to give the building a welcoming look, and artist Tim Morris was asked to paint a mural in the lobby.

"I think they’re going to love it," Robinson said. "The seniors that come here every day — I bet I answer every day the question, ‘When are we moving?’"

The center will be open and serving meals on July 23, she said. A grand opening and open house will follow in September after the staff has had a little time to get everything looking just right.

Box fans available

Also moving to the new senior center will be a large number of box fans. Car Mart recently donated 40 to the program to distribute to senior citizens needing relief from the summer heat.

Robinson said, "We’re going to share them with our other centers (in Faulkner County). Usually every summer we have ended up with fans. Car Mart has donated them several times. Anyone that’s over 60, if they are in need, give us a call. If we have an over-abundance, people under 60 can call us too. But we want to take care of our seniors first."

She said it is important for seniors to stay cool and hydrated during the heat of the summer. Many times they don’t realize they have gotten too hot until it is too late, she said.

"Everything is on a limited income, and seniors tend to be conservative. They would prefer, if they do have air conditioning, to push that thermostat up where it doesn’t run as often and use a fan to help supplement their AC. That will save on their electric bill."

The Faulkner County Senior Citizens Program may be reached at 327-2895.

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