VAN BUREN (KFSM)-- The Van Buren Senior Activity Center has been open for about a month, but Tuesday (Oct. 27) was the official grand opening.
Everyone in the community was welcome to get a tour of the new facility that is replacing the old activity center.
“We've already seen the growth coming in the last two weeks,” Elaine Walker, the executive director of the Crawford County senior citizens, said. “We've only been open a month, and we've already seen a lot of new people coming.”
Walker said the center is for people 60 and older to socialize with each other.
“They can play pool, they can come in a do exercise. We have a quilting room. They are now able to do the quilting and have their own room,” Walker said.
There are also game and movie nights, trips to go on and more than 4,000 meals are served from the kitchen each month.
“It's been noted that the more that they are with other people, the longer they live, and so that is our goal is to keep them out of the rest home and enjoy their life,” Walker said.
Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman said the center will serve everyone in the community not just the elderly.
“It can also serve as a disaster center,” Mayor Freeman said. “It does have a tornado safe room in the back. That's for the neighborhood to be able to use 24/7 if we have a tornado warning,”
Mayor Freeman said this is the first multi-functional building of its kind in Van Buren, and he said he believes it will help the community for years to come.
“This facility is a good, great facility, not good. It's a great facility for today and for tomorrow.”
Meals are served daily $2.50, and the meals on wheels program is also run out of the kitchen.
Walker said if a senior citizen cannot get to the center, staff will pick the person up and take him or her home.