GLENVILLE — A $200,000 state grant will allow the Glenville Senior Center to begin construction this fall on a 1,200-square-foot addition for expanded programs and office space.
The addition will be built on the west side of the center, which is located off Worden Road. The new space will be used by the roughly 125 people who volunteer at the center, Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said. The goal is to have the addition completed in the spring.
"Hopefully, we will be in the ground before the weather gets really cold," Koetzle said.
Receipt of the grant was announced Tuesday by state Sen. James Tedisco, R-Glenville, who shepherded the grant after it was originally announced in 2016 by then-Sen. Hugh T. Farley, who retired from representing the 49th Senate District at the end of last year. Farley, who spent 40 years in the Senate, also attended the ceremony, along with a small crowd of seniors.
"Survey after survey shows that, as our senior citizens age, they want to continue to be independent and live in their own homes and communities," Tedisco said. "That's why the programs and services that our senior centers provide are so critical to the health, wellness and emotional well-being of our senior citizens."
The Glenville center, which opened in 1997, has about 1,100 participants and provides about 8,000 senior meals annually. It also provides rides to medical and professional appointments and to shopping venues for seniors living at home. In addition to Glenville, the center has members from nearby communities, including Ballston, Niskayuna and Schenectady.
Vicki Hillis, the senior center's coordinator, said one of her hopes is to start a "memory cafe," which would provide social time and support for people with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and their caretakers, similar to one operated at the Saratoga Springs Senior Center.
Paula DeVries, president of the center's board of directors, said the need to add to the 7,000-square-foot building has been under discussion at least since she joined the organization in 2002.
"It's something we've wanted for a long time," she said.
A committee to study the addition was formed in 2012, and by the next year, the senior center was working with Synthesis Architects of Schenectady, which has designed the new space.
Farley acknowledged that, as a senior senator and chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, he had the ability to obtain grants. But he credited Tedisco with persistently pursuing the grant after taking over in January, as the grant underwent review by the state Dormitory Authority, which is the actual source of the money.
"These grants, once I left, they're coveted by a long line of people, so it's quite a compliment to Sen. Tedisco that he was able to secure it," Farley said.
The total cost of the addition is projected at around $220,000, with the town putting up the funds not covered by the grant.
The senior center is owned by the town but is managed by a volunteer board of the senior citizens who use it.