Senior Center looks at plans to expand

The Pelham Senior Center is looking to expand the building's main room in order to incorporate the growth in programs and participation at the center. (Contributed)

The Pelham Senior Center is looking to expand the building’s main room in order to incorporate the growth in programs and participation at the center. (Contributed)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham Senior Center may soon get a larger main room to fit with its growing number of programs and participants.

“When it was built we thought it was as much as we would ever need,” Pelham Senior Center Director Barbara Roberts said, but in the nine years since the building opened, the Senior Center has seen dramatic growth in program offerings and participation.

“It has grown tremendously,” Roberts said. “When we opened there was a core group of about 90.”

Now the Senior Center offers programs every day, including Tai Chi, art classes, Wii bowling and a bridge group, and holds large events such as Friday night dances and holiday luncheons. Roberts estimated 300 people attend the Senior Center’s weekly programs, more than triple the original number.

The Senior Center is looking to expand its main room, which Roberts said “just isn’t big enough anymore” to accommodate some if its larger functions.

“This has been in the works for about six months,” Roberts said, adding she has worked with architects to create seven different possibilities for expansion of the main room.

Roberts presented the most recent design for the Senior Center to the Pelham City Council during a June 2 work session. The plan extends the main room’s walls to incorporate the covered porches on either side of the building and the patio along the back wall, nearly doubling the size of the existing room by adding 1,400 square feet.

In addition, the plan calls for replacement of the current tile flooring with hardwood flooring in the main room, as the tile grout lines have caused several falls.

The expansion and floor replacement would not only allow the Senior Center to better accommodate large functions, it would also provide an ideal space for some of the center’s very popular exercise programs, such as Tai Chi and low-impact aerobics, which have outgrown the exercise room.

Those who use the Senior Center “welcome” the plans for expansion and improvements to the main room, Roberts said, adding “a lot of thought and effort has gone into this.”