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$1 million renovation project at Meadville senior center to provide easier access

$1 million renovation project at Meadville senior center to provide easier access

$1 million renovation project at Meadville senior center to provide easier accessFeb 21, 2019

Officials from the Active Aging Foundation announced the public phase of its “Engage in Your Active Future” capital campaign to support the completion of the ongoing $1 million renovation project that is bringing extensive upgrades to the Meadville facility located on Park Avenue.

“This building, which houses the Active Aging Meadville Center, has not been updated since 1995,” Executive Director Krista Geer said. “Our current space is a challenge with activity space divided between two floors. The renovation will provide easy access to activities and programs for seniors all on one floor.”

At the heart of the upgrade is a complete makeover of a large socialization area. Replacing the rectangular tables, folding chairs, fluorescent ceiling panels and the institutional atmosphere will be contemporary seating, on-the-go cafe-style dining and an inviting area that comes complete with a fireplace.

The renovations will not only reshape much of the senior center’s interior, they will improve the exterior as well, according to Donna Cessna, development coordinator for the Active Aging Foundation, the charitable arm of Active Aging Inc. that has raised funds for the effort.

Already, an awning has been added along much of the building’s Market Street side. Over the next two months, heated sidewalks will be installed on the Park Avenue side of the building along with outdoor patios and bistro-style seating.

Inside, staff offices have been relocated to the second floor so that all of the services offered to seniors — from Medicare counseling to the exercise room and dance studio to the library and pool table — can be accessed on the ground floor. Seniors already check in to Active Aging activities 85,000 times each year, but officials hope to see that number increase when the renovations, which began in December, are complete. The plan is to unveil the updated facilities during Older Americans Month in May.

While much of the facility’s ground floor is currently under construction, Active Aging continues to provide nearly 100 percent of its usual services, according to Cessna, with many senior services relocated to the community center rooms available for rental. Dozens of community members began gathering in one of those rooms Wednesday, shortly after the campaign launch, as the evening’s bingo games got underway.

The project is being funded through a variety of sources: $300,000 from the Active Aging Foundation; $250,000 from Active Aging Inc.; and $150,000 from a state grant. The remaining $300,000 will come from the “Engage in Your Active Future” capital campaign.

Much of the capital campaign fundraising has already been accomplished, with the governing board donating $52,000 and Active Aging staff donating $23,000. An additional $118,000 has been raised from private sources. The foundation hopes to raise another $107,000 through the campaign.

Lead donors include Meadville Medical Center, Northwest Charitable Foundation and Northwest Bank and the Nutrition Group.

“Meadville Medical Center takes great pride in not only providing high quality affordable health care but also in the way we can support so many great community assets like Active Aging,” said Don Rhoten, vice president of community engagement at the hospital. “These renovations will further enhance the experience people have as they utilize the facility.”

With much of the fundraising completed, Cheryl and Bob Muth, who are chairing the campaign, were optimistic that the next stage of the process would be successful.

“The generosity of our community in support of our seniors is overwhelming,” Cheryl Muth said. “With the start of the public phase of this campaign, we hope the support from our community will continue and make this project a reality.”

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

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