Lakewood OH

Senior center programs expected at alternate sites through March

By Sue Botos

Rocky River

Rocky River Senior Center programs are continuing at locations throughout the city, but it is still uncertain when the activities can return to their home after it was severely damaged by a leaking sprinkler pipe in early January. Some February and March activities are already being scheduled for other venues.

During last week’s City Council meeting, safety-service Director Mary Kay Costello reported that according to contractor estimates, it will cost about $90,000 to repair the center. During the first major cold snap, on Jan. 7, a sprinkler pipe in the ceiling over the atrium burst, damaging carpeting, walls and especially the auditorium stage.

Costello said that the 17-page estimate still needs some tweaking. “The contractors want to go over it line by line with the insurance adjuster. We’re very anxious to get the repair started,” she stated.

A definite timeline for reconstruction can’t be drawn up yet, according to Costello, because the damage to the stage floor has to be assessed and a repair plan approved. Mayor Pam Bobst added that it’s possible the rest of the building could open before work on the stage is completed.

Because of the expected noise and traffic due to the stage reconstruction, Costello predicted that there would be “some interruption to programs” during that time.

Senior center activities Director Laurie Schaefer said that most programs are continuing at other spots, and that it’s hoped reconstruction can begin this week. “We’ve rescheduled some things for March just to keep them covered,” she said. For example, she said the annual St. Patrick’s Day program featuring The New Barleycorn Irish band will be held at the Don Umerley Civic Center.

The Feb. 19 volunteer recognition luncheon will also take place at the civic center, and Schaefer promised a festive Olympic theme, complete with a nonflammable torch.

Most programs have continued, she added, at locations such as the civic center community room and Rocky River United Methodist Church. The Normandy has offered space for card players, and some fitness classes have relocated to civic center classrooms.

Only those activities requiring special equipment have been “postponed,” not canceled, according to Schaefer. Clay and ceramics classes have been put on hold, as well as tap dancing. “The floor at the church was too slippery, and we were afraid someone would fall,” she noted.

The center’s deli lunch program remains suspended, but senior transportation is available, and the gift shop and front desk remain open. Schaefer noted that the building was inspected after the most recent arctic blast, and no further damage was found.

Schaefer said she is grateful for all those who have helped keep things running. “This has been a community effort,” she stated.




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