Seniors get a new place to play

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2000

About 100 senior citizens and community leaders gathered Monday to celebrate the grand opening of the new Camellia Senior Center located on Bolling Street in Greenville. The facility has been opened since early December, and has continued to expand services the city offers for seniors since that time.

Photo by Derek Brown

About 100 senior citizens and community leaders gathered Monday to celebrate the grand opening of the new Camellia Senior Center which has become the new home of the Greenville Parks and Recreation Department's senior group.

Although the renovations were complete around the first of December, the seniors and GPRD have continued making improvements to the new facility before an official unveiling to the public.

Program Coordinator Mary Braden said the new senior center has given the senior group more room to enjoy weekly activities and will allow the department to expand its services to seniors in the future.

"Right now the group only meets once per week, but this facility will allow us to expand the program and to be open daily eventually," she said. "We want this to be a place where seniors can come and socialize whether they live here in Greenville or are just in town for the day and need a place to relax for a few minutes."

The senior group currently averages about 20 – 25 members, and Braden says she hopes increased programming will help the group grow.

"We want to be able to provide more things to do like card and domino tournaments, bingo, speakers and programs," she said. "Each week we are doing something different and we want to be able to do more."

The senior programs offered by the department range from crafts and bingo to programs on health, nutrition and Y2K concerns. The group has also toured historic locations here in Butler County and has taken day trips to Andalusia, Montgomery and Bellingrath Gardens.

The newly renovated building was originally purchased by the city to house the Greenville Police Department. However, the building's construction did not meet state codes for such a facility and was eventually turned over to Parks and Recreation.

During the renovations, the building was outfitted with a handicapped entrance, a complete kitchen, a large activities room and adminstrative offices. Volunteers helped decorate the facility to give it a comfortable atmosphere and some down-home charm.