You may see that the Senior page looks a little different this week. There are two weeks of menus because on May 29, there will be no paper because of the Memorial Day holiday. Back in March, the Senior page, where we publish the Senior Center menus, moved from Saturdays to Mondays; we’ll be caught up in a few Monday holidays from now on as a result of this switch. When that happens, we’ll print two weeks of menus in advance here in The Press.
So, why point out menus? A number of people who know the Senior Center may know us primarily — if not only — through our meals program, those who come to one of our six meal sites and those who receive home-delivered meals. Knowing what’s for lunch is important to them…and to us!
So, construction at the Senior Center is a bit unsettling for some folks. They would like to know what’s going on and how it may affect them. Back in October 2016, Executive Director Carmen Rideout started giving announcements in the dining room, plus distributed flyers we call “The 211: Construction Around the Senior Center.” Then, after an announcement, we have staff circulate to answer any questions. Some staff have been eating in the dining room more frequently and sitting with folks. The topic of construction comes up quite frequently and we can answer questions one-on-one or in small groups gathered around the meal.
By the way, the name of our construction flyer was suggested by our own Development Director Rindy West. She suggested a play on the words from the 411-information number using the Senior Center’s address at 211 Smith St.
I’ve often told people that if the information they have on construction around the center is more than 8 seconds old, it may be outdated. Things change quite frequently when there’s construction and trying to keep more than 200 people informed on what may affect them is an exercise in communication acrobatics for sure.
The construction at the Senior Center is not being done on a whim. It was carefully discussed for years before proceeding. The changes are being made because some changes needed to be made (like the HVAC system, repairs to the roof and windows) and other changes are to ready for an oncoming generation.
We like to think that we’re a welcoming place and we want to keep it that way, hence, some of the reasons for the changes here at the Senior Center: to be a welcoming place for the current and future people we serve.
The changes are not only for our meals program but also for our activities. Many community groups meet here at the center not only for business meetings but also for fun; we were squeezed to the hilt with people in every corner! The construction includes expansion of flexible space that can be used for activities at one moment, and a meeting at another moment, with screens and ports for presentations or group video meetings.
Outside of our internal “211” flyer, we are grateful to our community partners — such as The Sheridan Press — for helping us get the word out. Some folks subscribe to our quarterly Center Stage newsletter. If you don’t come to the Senior Center, or don’t get our Center Stage newsletter, we have some information on the construction posted on our website at www.sheridanseniorcenter.org and the Center Stage newsletters are posted there under Resources/Publications. The newsletters are chock full of construction updates.
You are always welcome to call and get the “211” on construction or stop by.
Until then, consider coming to join us for lunch at Sheridan Junior High School, seven days a week, beginning June 7.
Lois Bell is the communications director at the Sheridan Senior Center. Center Stage is written by friends of the Senior Center for the Sheridan Community. It is a collection of insights and stories related to living well at every age.