The new Champaign County Senior Center grand opening and 50-year celebration was held on Thursday.
To celebrate, Senior Center members and the public gathered for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the new facility located at 150 Patrick Ave. in Urbana.
“It is a much bigger building, it is all one level and there aren’t any stairs,” noted Senior Center member Bonnie Knull.
“This new building is so convenient and it is handicap-accessible compared to the other building,” said Senior Center member Joyce Bowlin. “There is a lot of neat stuff here.”
“In January 2019, we celebrated the donation of land for the new center from Civista Bank,” said vice president of the Senior Center board Mary Lee Gecowets. “This generous donation truly started this project. We also received a major contribution from the Memorial Foundation for the project. And I thank the voters for helping us pass the levy.”
On October 16, 2020, construction began.
Today, only a year later, the project is complete.
The facility was built with a .5-mill tax levy. After five years, the levy will be finished and the building will be paid for.
To cover operating expenses, there is a separate .4-mill tax levy that will need to be renewed.
The builder was Marker Construction and the architect was Beasley Architecture & Design.
The building is comprised of 9,153 square feet.
“(Senior Center Director) Stacy Barnhart and the board were great to work with. It was refreshing to work with such a progressive-minded and future-thinking group. We are proud to have been a part of this beautiful facility,” said Randy Marker, CEO of Marker Construction.
“This was such an impressive team. Mary Lee and the trustees demonstrated incredible discipline and restraint, knowing the importance of passing the levy to secure the funds to build a facility that met their members’ and the community’s needs well into the future,” said Project Executive, Matt Ludwig.
Membership is open to anyone 55 or older.
With the “county fair special” still available, membership costs $20 for the remainder of 2021 and all of 2022. To join with a spouse or a roommate, the combined cost would be $35.