Tonawanda News

Local News

April 12, 2007

NORTH TONAWANDA: Senior center gets new, updated look

After 35 years of negligence, a hot spot on North Tonawada’s Goundry Street has cast down its aging look and emerged with new, youthful vigor.

On Wednesday, some people were playing pool. Others were watching television or chatting with friends. The North Tonawanda Senior Center was an entirely new hang out.

For years, the center had a leaky ceiling with exposed pipes, plenty of lights that didn’t work and bathrooms which were sinking into the ground, North Tonawanda Senior Center Coordinator Pam Hogan said.

“This place looked like a mental institution,” she said. “It was deplorable.”

The center opened its doors Wednesday to reveal its completed renovations. Dozens of seniors, as well as city officials, showed up to take a look at the new and improved center.

The renovations were a long time coming, Hogan said.

“Nothing, basically, was done since 1972,” she said. “Nothing was touched in the last 35 years.”

With a total of about $400,000 in grant money coming from the state a few years ago, Hogan got to work.

Outdoor work was done on the roof, doors, electric door system, heating system and air conditioning. Inside, the center got improvements to the ceiling, lighting and kitchen, as well as new furniture and carpeting, Hogan said.

One of the biggest renovations occurred in the center’s bathrooms, Hogan said.

“The (bathroom) floors were sinking into the ground,” she said.

Each bathroom cost about $20,000 to fix, Hogan said. In all, it took about two years to complete the center’s renovations.

By all accounts, the work is appreciated.

Norm Holtham is a member of the center who finds the building more inviting than ever.

“They did a nice job,” Holtham said. “It was enjoyable, but now it’s nicer. There’s something for everybody.”

The new lighting in the center has made a big difference, member Lois Quesnell said.

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