By KEILAH GOFF, The Daily Record of Dunn
DUNN - Dunn senior citizens who have patiently waited through nearly two years of renovations and several delays are happy to know the Dunn Senior Enrichment Center is moving back to its previous longtime home.
The Dunn Senior Enrichment Center operation was relocated to 611 S. Powell Ave. in 2014 when the facilities at the Harnett Training School campus on East Johnson Street underwent renovations.
Now that the $9.5 million renovation -- which includes affordable senior apartments, a restored gymnasium for the Police Athletic League (PAL) program and improved classrooms, which will be utilized by Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) and the Senior Center -- is complete, the Senior Center will close its Powell Avenue location next week for the move back to the Harnett Training School campus.
According to Phyllis Taylor, Senior Enrichment Center director, the center will shut down Monday, reopening in its new location July 6.
"I am excited about it," said Senior Center member Adrienne Leggett. "We have been packing up. We are just about ready to move. We are going back to a modern facility. I like the location because it's close to the culinary and barbering schools, and they are giving computer classes."
With the move to the newly-restored campus, daily operations of the center will transfer from Dunn Parks and Recreation to CCCC.
Management of the Senior Enrichment Center operations was part of an agreement worked out with the city when CCCC contracted to lease the historical Harnett Training School property, said Assistant City Manager Steven Neuschafer.
Ms. Taylor, formerly a member of the Dunn Parks and Recreation staff, has become a CCCC employee. The city will reimburse the costs for Senior Center employees and any additional costs incurred by the program in a quarterly payment.
"The programming won't change," said Mr. Neuschafer. "It will only grow at this point in time."
That means seniors will continue many of the projects -- such as knitting and bear making -- that members Mary F. McLean, Doris Olds and Christine McBryde were working on Thursday morning.
"I am looking forward to it," said Mrs. McBryde.
Daily programs offered by the Senior Enrichment Center include an exercise class, craft classes and Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to homebound seniors and in house.
A weekly Bible study, music class and bingo are listed as programs offered in the past, in addition to monthly classes on consumer, health and nutrition information.
A weekly art class currently meets at the P.K. Vyas Recreation Center.
The center also holds annual Senior Games and several trips throughout the year.
Mr. Neuschafer said there are still details to be worked out regarding future senior trips, but those could fall back under the city's parks and recreation department to avoid insurance complications with the college.
"After several delays, we are happy to finally be able to have the senior programming back in the original location," added Mr. Neuschafer.
Mary F. McLean and Doris Olds, members of the Dunn Senior Enrichment Center, create an adorable stuffed bear at the soon-to-be relocated center.
Maxine Dennis knits one of the last caps that will be created before the Dunn Senior Enrichment Center's move from the Powell Avenue location to the newly-remodeled Harnett Training School campus.