The project adds 5,388 square feet to the existing 5,014-square-foot senior center built in 2003.
Seniors were moved to Chinook Middle School this summer while updates were done to the centers kitchen and some of the rooms, but most moved back this fall.
The centers Services to At-Risk-Seniors (STAR) program is still being held at River Ridge Covenant Church off Steilacoom Road until construction is complete.
Both the centers staff and members are impressed with the work thus far.
Its serving them better because there is more space available to them, said Kate Green, manager of the senior center. Particularly with our new classroom that has really strong lights in it for our wood carvers so they can see really well in there.
The center opened with 360 members in 2003. Membership has grown to 1,600, causing overcrowding and deterring new potential members.
The new addition will help remedy that issue. That portion of the building has been constructed and will be water tight as of this week going into the wet winter weather, according to Lori Flemm, director of Lacey Parks and Recreation.
Seniors are utilizing the original portion of the building, and have learned to adjust to construction noise. The projects contractor, Jones and Roberts Company, has been working with the seniors, coming in early, during times with less activities and classes or when the center is closed, Flemm said.
The noise has spurned a few jokes around the center.
Termites are busy this morning, said Jim Knapp, a frequenter of the center for the past five years. You hear them, but you dont see them.
The senior center holds a special place in Knapps heart. Its where he met and married his wife, Judy Lensgrave, in 2007, shortly after becoming a member of the center.
It was a whirlwind romance.
I discovered you have to have a companion to live, as far as I am concerned, Knapp said.
Knapp admits he had reservations about the project when it was first proposed especially the cost.
I thought maybe it was spending too much money, but gee whiz, its a lot nicer, Knapp said.
Construction equipment and cramped parking has been an obstacle, but it didnt hamper this past weekends semi-annual rummage sale.
The center raised $1,400 for senior services on Saturday, as well as $100 specifically toward the centers building fund.
The center even had the help of some Chinook Middle School students.
Everything went well the same it always goes, Greene said. We had lots of people show up early and buy all the stuff that gets donated, that was great.
Chelsea Krotzer: 360-754-5476 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/thisjustin @chelseakrotzer