In just a few months, Bulloch County senior citizens should be able to spread their wings a bit as the new senior center opens.
Under construction on Granade and East Grady streets, the facility is mostly funded by a grant awarded to the county and will greatly increase space and services, said Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch.
In previous interviews after the county received word about winning the $750,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Couch said the new 6,200-square-foot facility on Granade Street, next to where the old Bulloch Memorial Hospital once stood, will replace the current location, at 515 Denmark St., which is only 3,925 square feet.
County officials first started considering the grant in January 2017. After a public hearing in March 2017, Special Projects Manager Cindy Steinmann wrote the grant, and in September of that year, the county learned they would receive the funding, he said.
Bulloch County contributed around $201,000, as well as other in-kind services toward the project, he said. In a statement after receiving the grant in 2017, Couch said, "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. Title III programs help to maintain personal independence and improve the quality of life for the elderly population in Statesboro and Bulloch County."
Action Pact (formerly Concerted Services), under the umbrella of the Coastal Georgia Regional Commission's Area Agency on Aging, operates the senior center's programs, which include meal service for groups attending the center as well as meals for the homebound. They also provide age-appropriate health and wellness and other related and supportive activities, he said.
The new center is expected to be completed by October and likely will be inhabited by the end of the year, Steinmann said.
“We are doing the final grading to pave the parking lot and put in curbing,” she said.
Painting comes next, as the drywall and most of the interior work has been done.
Couch also said he is pleased with the progress.
“Things are moving along, and commissioners should be meeting with Action Pact in August.”
The location is quiet but close to several medical offices and is a short distance from downtown Statesboro as well as the commercial district surrounding the Statesboro Mall. The senior citizens center should not intrude on the neighborhood’s quiet atmosphere. Seniors who have been on a waiting list due to limited space will now be able to enjoy the programs, he said.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.