Senior Center moving to new headquarters this week
Meals and activities will begin on Monday, November 26 at the new Berkeley Springs Senior Center location at the former U.S. Silica headquarters on Sand Mine Road, north of Berkeley Springs.
All Senior Life Services of Morgan County staff and services should be at the new offices by November 26. November 16 was the last day for office staff at the Community Services Center site, said Senior Life Services Executive Director Joel Tuttle.
Their cook will remain at the Green Street location. Meals will be trucked down to their new site until their new commercial kitchen can be built, Tuttle said.
Some staff had moved to the new location in February and March, but activities and meals had continued at their South Green Street building.
The agency purchased the building from U.S. Silica on January 30. They received a 30-year loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to purchase the building.
Chamber of Commerce tour
Chamber of Commerce members received a tour of the new Senior Life Services facility after their November 14 luncheon meeting, which was held in what will be the agency’s cafeteria.
Tuttle and outreach coordinator Doris Rink explained their services, which include meals, transportation, in-home care, assistance with Medicare Part D, help with living wills and medical power of attorney and activities such as bingo, bridge, line dancing and crafts.
It’s been a challenge having staff in two locations and it’ll be nice to have everyone in one place, Tuttle said.
Tuttle was excited about having 150 parking spaces at the new building and plenty of space for offices, staff, trainings and services.
He said they were creating additional restrooms, a storage area, an exercise room, a multimedia room for computer classes and a separate crafts room around the cafeteria.
They had doubled their former space and had plenty of room to grow. Tuttle hoped the new senior center site would become the place to go for area seniors.
The Morgan County Commission submitted a revised $190,000 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant application to construct two temporary senior housing units at the new senior center location. It was approved October 1.
The two transitional apartments will be used for seniors that become displaced by eviction, fire or other emergencies, Tuttle said.
HUD also approved $28,500 to be used to build a dual-purpose commercial kitchen for the building that will also serve those clients. Tuttle estimates the cost of constructing the kitchen at around $70,000.
The remaining $142,500 grant monies will be used for constructing the two apartments, which was changed from one emergency housing apartment in the original grant. Ten percent of the grant funds will be used for design and engineering.
The grant will be administered by the county. Morgan County Administrator Jody McClintock will be project manager.
Tuttle said they have to pay the construction costs upfront and get reimbursed later. They’ve been saving money every month for the construction.
Bids from two architects for the project were opened at a special meeting with the Morgan County Commissioners last Friday.
Carter & Burton Architecture will charge a maximum of $19,000 to renovate the space. This amount could be less if the commissioners do not take the full package.
Architects Grove & Dall’olio bid $28,760 and would make all needed revisions.
A recommendation as to which architect to choose will be made this week.
The senior center currently uses about 17,000-sq.-ft. of the building’s main floor. U.S. Silica is leasing 6,500-sq.-ft. of the building plus the large basement.
Once the construction and renovations were completed, there would be around 2,500-sq.-ft. to rent, Tuttle said. They are willing to work with community groups looking for somewhere to meet.
Same phone number
The main telephone number for Senior Life Services of Morgan County will remain 304-258-3096. The agency also has a senior center site in Paw Paw.
Other agency moves
The Boys & Girls Club plan to move into the senior center’s space downstairs at the South Green Street building over Thanksgiving week, said Executive Director Chris Risinger.
They hoped to have their new downstairs location ready for kids by December 1. Painting and other needed renovations would probably take place over Christmas break, Risinger said.
Morgan County Starting Points hopes to move soon to the Boys & Girls Club’s current space.