The rainy weather didn’t dampen spirits Tuesday as a crowd of excited senior citizens and other local residents celebrated the opening of the Bulloch County Senior Center on Granade Street.
The new building, adjacent to the former Bulloch Memorial Hospital site on East Grady Street, is expected to expand services to area seniors and alleviate a waiting list, said Bulloch County Special Projects Manager Cindy Steinmann.
“When we first applied for the (Community Development Block Grant) in 2017 for the senior center, they had a waiting list of 32 people,” she said. “They” means Action Pact, formerly Concerted Services, Inc. which operates the center.
“The new building was anticipated to relieve that waiting list, bringing the total number of individuals served to 124,” Steinmann said. “However, I anticipate that the waiting list has grown since that time and the new building will likely increase the number of individuals served from what was previously anticipated”
Robbin Deloach, outreach coordinator and activity director for Action Pact, said seniors and staff alike are ecstatic over the new building, which opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
“It is wonderful,” she said. “We had a huge crowd, and everyone is extremely grateful. We have so much more room, and it was so great seeing (everyone involved in the project) pulling together to make this happen.”
Steinmann wrote the grant, and Bulloch County Commissioners sought to be awarded the grant in March 2017. In September of that year, they got the news that Bulloch County was one of over 50 entities to get the $750,000 Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
The new 6,200-square-foot facility replaces the former 3,925 square feet location on 515 Denmark Street.
Bulloch County contributed $201,000 and other in-kind services toward the project. The Bulloch County Board of Commissioners provides local matching funds to help support existing senior center services under Title III programs under the Older Americans Act of 1965.
Steinmann said the new location is quiet and compliments the neighborhood, but is also close to several medical offices and is a short distance from downtown Statesboro as well as the commercial district surrounding the Statesboro Mall.
The seniors have access to adult tricycles with baskets they can use to shop and cruise the area, she said. The senior center offers daily activities, meals, and opportunities for social interaction as well as nutrition counseling, exercise and health instruction, risk screenings, field and social gatherings for elder adults.
For more information about services offered by Action Pact, call 912-285-6083, stop by the center or visit www.myactionpact.org.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.