Senior center staff anticipating move to siteAfter years in the making, the James River Senior and Community Center is moving to a new location in Jamestown.
By: Brian Willhide, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
After years in the making, the James River Senior and Community Center is moving to a new location in Jamestown.
“We’ve been talking about expansion for about four years now, and now we’re really excited for this to take place,” said Laurie McGuire, director of senior meals, outreach and transit for the JRSCC.
The former Jamestown Hospital building in northeast Jamestown will give the center approximately 2,800 additional square feet of space, which McGuire called important to the organization’s progress.
“We’ve just simply outgrown our kitchen and office space,” she said.
The JRSCC is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides services to help the elderly lead independent and healthy lives, according to its website.
It also provides transportation services, meal programs and a catering service.
“The senior citizens center is a vital part of the community,” said Mark Klose, chairman of the Stutsman County Commission.
“It’s an active, well-managed organization, especially with all of their outreach programs. They make a tremendous impact here,” he said.
McGuire notified the Stutsman County Commission of the move during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Not all programs are moving over to its new location, McGuire said.
“Public transit and the bus facilities will remain at our current location, but dispatch will be moving to our new building,” she said.
The additional square footage at the new site is mainly in the kitchen, where she said they most need extra space.
“This move is going to be great for our cooks and catering service,” McGuire said.
Classic Catering, which McGuire said has been in existence with the center since 1999, caters to groups as small as 20 to as large as 700.
“Classic is greatly going to benefit from the move, because we’ll hopefully be able to take on more lunch programs and provide meals for more local businesses,” she said.
McGuire said the catering service’s revenue is essential to the center’s financial balance.
“Sometimes we are waiting for federal funds to come in, so Classic keeps a constant cash flow in our building to help support many of our other programs,” she said.
The JRSCC has been renting its current space from Stutsman County for approximately 30 years, and will be leasing the former Jamestown Hospital building from Lutheran Social Services.
McGuire said rent expense going from their current building to the new location would be “pretty comparable.” However, she said final expense numbers have yet to be determined.
The former hospital building is currently being renovated into 51 apartments by Lutheran Social Services.
Jessica Thomasson, director of housing with Lutheran Social Services, said the JRSCC will take up the ground level of the building, where the hospital’s cafeteria used to be.
“We’ve been in talks with the community center for a while now, and we’re happy to be working with their organization on this project,” Thomasson said.
McGuire said initial talks with Lutheran Social Services indicated the move should be complete by February 2013, but she said they have recently discussed the possibility of getting into the new location by late fall.
“It would be so nice to move in before the busy winter and holiday season, but that timetable is still to be determined,” she said.
Thomasson confirmed there is no exact timetable for the move.
“This is an exciting time for us —we may never have the opportunity for a move like this again,” she said.
For more information about the JRSCC and its programs, visit http://jamesriverseniors.org/home.html.
Sun reporter Brian Willhide can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org