Jonesborough seniors celebrate first year in new building

Jessica Fuller • Updated Dec 7, 2016 at 8:35 PM

For many members of the Jonesborough Senior Center, it’s hard to believe that a year at the new location has already come and gone.

The new building has brought so many opportunities in addition to the extra floor space that opened at the snip of a ribbon last year. The roster of members has grown to about 1,400 names and the center has opened its doors to new classes and different trips for seniors to enjoy.

Director Mary Sanger said the new building brought many opportunities with it in the past year. This year’s members have been able to take classes in American Sign Language, computer skills, Spanish and several fitness classes and take trips from a relaxing day at Hot Springs to white water rafting. Overall, Sanger said the center has hosted more than 165 different activities, more than 100 trips and served 1,800 seniors.

“We really want to challenge aging and disrupt aging,” she said. “We don’t think about things in a box, we think ‘what are some things that we could offer that are more challenging?’ ”

The day featured a celebratory lunch, comments from Mayor Kelly Wolfe and Town Administrator Bob Browning, door prizes, including a free year’s membership, and tours of the fitness facilities. While members are happy with the new facilities, some like Doc Johnson, who also spends some time volunteering at the center, say the sense of community from the old center has followed through and filled up the new center.

Members Janice Whaley and Judy Rhines agree. Both were members for several years at the old building, and while they enjoy the trips and opportunities offered by the center, the heart of their experience as members lies in the bonds they’ve made.

“The biggest thing is that we’ve made a lot of new friends,” Whaley said. “We have a whole group that we do things with.”

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