Local senior center expands to meet population demands
"I've seen the center grow from about 300 members to 1,200 members."
For the past decade, the number of older adults at the Lewes Senior Activity Center has skyrocketed. It's a place for 50-year-olds and older, a place where they can participate in all sorts of activities whether it's playing cards or painting ceramics.
It allows them to stay active as they age, something the center has found to be extremely beneficial for the past 50 years its been operating.
"Older adults who are mentally, physically, and socially active tend to be happier, healthier, and more independent," says Andy Zampini, the Board of Directors President.
It's a valued resource for the older population in Lewes. A population that has seen quite a bit of growth, growth that doesn't seem to have an end point any time soon.
"There's going to be an influx of tens of thousands of people coming into Sussex County in the next seven years. They're predicting 30,000 people in Sussex County and about 12,700 right in our service area," explains Zampini.
Usually you would consider that to be a good thing, but right now the center is already full which is why they need to expand.
Dennis Nealen, the Center's Executive Director says, "The rooms are jammed everyday and the classes are back to back, so by adding two large rooms, we'll be able to expand programming."
It's an expansion that's needed in order for them to accommodate what's to come. One that will allow this senior center to improve the activities their members love.
Nealen adding, "It's very crucial because we have some people that this is their only socialization they come here to be with other people other than that, they're stuck at home."
So far the center has raised about $750,000, but they need about another million for the expansion.