Friday, November 15, 2013

Senior Center on the Move -- Twice

Volunteers from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Maugers Mille Road, gathered by Eagle Scout Brian J. Frampton, recently helped trim brush and clean-up the grounds around the future home of the Pottstown Area Senior Center on Moser Road. 

The Pottstown Area Senior Center will be on the move next month, but it won’t be the last time.

Fundraising and development plans for the center’s new building — the former Pottstown Health Club  at 288 Moser Road — have taken longer than expected and the center’s lease at the YWCA on North Adams Street expired in August, said Executive Director Brad Fuller.

As a result, the center will have to move to an interim location while the work on the Moser Road property gets underway.

Pictured in front of the new building last November are the capital 
campaign committee, from left, center director Brad Fuller, 
Hanna Hartman, Lillie Foster, Heather Chandler, Mary Highland 
and Ronald Barrett. (The Mercury/Kevin Hoffman)
Happily, that location is extremely well-suited to the center’s needs, said Fuller. It is the Berean Bible Church,  2675 E. High Street in Lower Pottsgrove.

Fuller said when he realized the center would not be able to move into the new facility before over-staying their welcome at the YMCA, “I went to the (Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities) and asked for their help. We have some very specific needs. It had to be handicapped accessible, be on a bus route, have off-street parking, that kind of thing and a number of churches offered to host us,” Fuller said.

In the end, it turned out that Berean Bible Church “had everything we needed,” Fuller said. “It has a health department-certified kitchen, a separate entrance, it’s all on one floor and it has a big gymnasium.”

Cleaning up around the future home of the 
Pottstown Area Senior Center was 
an Eagle Scout project for Brian J. 
Frampton, pictured here with 
the center’s executive director, Brad Fuller.
Seniors may get most of their programming at the church for as long as a year, Fuller said.

Although it took 10 months to get borough approvals for the renovations, Fuller said he is pleased to be expecting a temporary occupancy permit that will allow the center’s furniture and the administrative offices to be moved into the Moser Road property while the construction and renovation commences.

However, in a kind of “chicken-or-the-egg” conundrum, the center is also waiting on financing, financing which is going slowly because so far, the center’s capital campaign has raised only $425,000 of the $1.2 million needed.

That fundraising has been slow, Fuller believes, in part because people do not see progress with the building, something it will be difficult to do without the financing.

As the time to complete the project stretches out, Fuller noted that the irony is the actual construction work can be done in eight to 14 weeks.

Nevertheless, Fuller said he, the staff and many of the center’s members are happy to have such an appropriate facility at Berean Bible Church available for them to use during the transition.
“It really is a very impressive facility,” he said.
Berean Bible Church in Lower Pottsgrove

The move to that impressive facility begins next month.

Although the center’s programs and activities will be moving to the church starting Dec. 2; there will be no activities there on Dec. 11; Dec. 16 through Dec. 20 as well as Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
The senior center offices in the YMCA will be open from Dec. through Dec. 13. After which, according to the plan, those offices will be moved to the Moser Road building on Dec. 19 or Dec. 20.

“The facility will allow us to do everything we currently offer, except for swimming, shuffleboard, (poker and BINGO),” Fuller wrote in an announcement to the members. The new temporary location also has air hockey, billiards, foosball and, “eventually, pickle ball.”

Those seniors who take TransNet to the center can still take it to Berean Bible Church and Fuller said “we are trying to arrange for a PART bus stop to be installed in a location close to the church.


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