It's been two moves in two years for a Charlottesville senior center. Now it's finally found a home where many of the seniors went to school.
The Mary Williams Center is one of many organizations to move into the recently renovated and re-opened Jefferson School. The new facility gives seniors an opportunity to be active, not only with their minds but also in the community.
The seniors' partner with other tenants in the building for programs like the Women's Initiative which leads counseling sessions, Common Ground holds yoga classes, and Charlottesville Parks and Rec hosts activities like arthritis workshops.
A room is also set aside for breakout activities, like meditation, tai chi, yoga, and painting. Before they were in one large room and would just have to pull some tables and chairs together in a corner of the room for separate activities.
There's a room right next door for a nurse and a case worker. The nurse is in-house two days a week to do things like check blood pressure, blood sugar, and check the basic overall health of the seniors.
"Things you wouldn't go to the doctor for but that are important," said Misty Boos, manager of the Mary Williams Center.
The seniors and staff are settling in, and they spoke about why they love the new space.
"Well if you go around the room and ask our members, you'll see that a lot of them have history in this building, a lot of them have either been here when the senior center was here previously or have gone to school here or have attended events here, and so this is a really important homecoming for a lot of our members," Boos said.
"Oh yeah, this is where I went to school," said Hattie Timberlake, a Center member. "I attended school and I was a little blue bird so it was good to tour the school that I had been attending for years."
On Mondays there is a joint activity between the YMCA daycare children and the seniors at the Jefferson School. They work on crafts together and get a chance to bond, creating inter-generational relationships, which is important for some of the members, especially those who live by themselves.
"I live alone now and I just enjoy coming here and it gives me time to get away from my one bedroom apartment and enjoy everybody," Timberlake said.
The Mary Williams Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday for coffee, lunch, activities, and internet use. Their new facility is located at the Jefferson School on Fourth Northwest Street in Charlottesville.
Mary Williams Center Moves to Jefferson SchoolMore>>
Saturday, April 19 2014 6:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:51:42 GMT
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