- Special Sections
- Public Notices
SHALLOTTE—Seniors in Shallotte are getting a new Senior Center.
On June 30, the county closed on the purchase of an existing building on U.S. 17 near Smith Avenue. The county acquired the building for $800,000.
The former lighting store is being transformed into a place for area seniors to gather. The ground floor encompasses 11,500 square feet with much more space upstairs.
Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. has already begun moving its offices to the new location.
On a recent afternoon, Jim Fish, BSRI executive director, took the Beacon on a tour of the building.
“We are so excited,” Fish said as he opened the front door.
An information desk awaits people as they walk in the door. Immediately to the left is a space that will be a gift shop for seniors to sell their arts and crafts and to place items on consignment. A similar space to the right will either be a hair salon or a vending area.
The majority of the main floor will be a dining area. There will also be a recreation area complete with pool tables and flat screen televisions.
Fish said it is hard to attract male participants to a senior center, and he hopes the “man cave” will help draw them there.
Also on the main floor will be an art room, crafting area, computer room, library, sitting area and exercise room.
There are three major renovations that must be completed before the center can open. These include the installation of an elevator and a kitchen facility, expansion of the men’s restroom facilities and additional entrances to become fire-code compliant.
“Engineered plans are in the works,” Fish said.
The building is already set up to house an elevator, making the work on that element easier, he said.
“It is a relatively turnkey operation as the building was built with an elevator in mind,” Fish said. “Putting it in doesn’t require major structural changes.”
Upstairs will house the BSRI administrative offices as well as a classroom space and a great room large enough for musical performances and community gatherings.
The building is being set up with a kitchen in case it was to be needed to serve as a temporary shelter. The back of the building has a covered area for delivery of congregate meals and Meals on Wheels meals for the homebound.
“Our volunteers will be able to unload food without being in the rain,” Fish said.
The center will be available to all seniors in the county.
“This center will make a difference in seniors lives for years to come,” Fish said.
When the center is complete, BSRI plans to have an open house and celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
“We can’t thank the county commissioners and local county management enough for their support and for allowing us to think outside the box and making this possible,” Fish said.
There are many big plans for expanded services for seniors and the community at the new facility.
“The senior center is for the seniors and for the people of Shallotte. It really is going to be a statement in a big way,” Fish said. “Every one of the seniors is a treasure. Everyone has made a unique contribution and every journey has been different and everyone is special.”
Fish hopes the center will be ready for seniors in early 2013. He said once the renovations begin it is anticipated they will be complete in under two months.
BSRI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. It is seeking donations for the new center to include everything from new exercise equipment to décor.
For more information on how you can help, contact the Shallotte Senior Center at 754-8776.