Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New Senior Center to be Dedicated

Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs told seniors Tuesday she will hold a dedication ceremony this month at the new senior center at 400 East Front Street.

The ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. on May 20.

Robinson-Briggs said she and others had taken several tours of the new center and its rooms are now being painted in colors chosen by the seniors. A building committee has worked with city officials and developer Glen Fishman to design the center, for which ground was broken in July 2007. Click here for story and pictures.

The promise of a new senior center has been a key item in the mayor's campaign for re-election, which she began last summer. Fishman's firm, Dornoch Plainfield LLC, missed three stated deadlines and for a time work bogged down, but it resumed in recent months.

The center is being built at no cost to the city on the ground floor of a 63-unit condo project dubbed The Monarch at Plainfield. Once set at $300,000 or more, the condo price now starts at $199,000. Details are on a web site, and a sales office is located at 325 East Front Street.

On my way out of the leased space at 305 East Front Street, I noticed a sign in the window saying "store for rent." The current space is at the west end of a block-long building that was recently renovated and has an eclectic mix of stores, offices and other uses. The new space will also house a veterans' meeting place. The timetable for occupancy of the new building has not yet been spelled out.

The mayor was making her monthly visit to the current senior center Tuesday. But since her June visit would fall on Primary Day, she said, she will combine the dedication on May 20 with a visit in lieu of the June 2 one.

As usual, her visit Tuesday included songs by center member Gloria Spence and others, updates on various community actitivities and this time, an advisory on swine flu. The mayor passed around hand sanitizer for seniors to use on the spot as a reminder to wash and clean hands frequently. A fact sheet from state health officials was also passed out. Next came a basket of candy and then the mayor's mother passed among the audience, handing out campaign buttons. Assemblyman Jerry Green, who is also running for re-election, addressed the seniors on the topic of Mother's Day and what a mother means to her children.

Disclaimer: I am a member of the center. I didn't accept candy or a campaign button, but did acknowledge my May birthday and was among seniors who were serenaded by the crowd singing "Happy Birthday."

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous T Jackson said...

Four years ago the New Dems held a fake ground breaking, with no contract and no money approved for the center.

This time, I we will have a real building, real space for the seniors that it will be ours - for our own use.

The New Dems may be surprised to learn that we seniors can tell the difference.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are there city workers putting in the sidewalk today ??

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To T Jackson,
Keep in mind that it was not politicians...old dems, new dems or republicans, that were building the center 4 years ago, but Jason Williams. Times have changed and so has the developer since then. This senior seems to have forgotten his/her history.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

no one would have said a word if you took the candy !Happy Birthday to you ..

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Bernice. Regarding handing out campaign buttons, I am supporting Mapp and will be down at the center over the next few days handing out buttons to demonstrate support for him.

11:55 AM  

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