Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Funding sought for Council on Aging

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012

The Huntington County Council on Aging held a Chamber After Hours on Wednesday, August 8. The event was held in the future location of the Council on Aging and the Senior Center at 1450 W. Park Drive, the former site of Huntington Tractor Sales and Ironclad Excavating. The Council on Aging and Senior Center will move to the new location when renovations are funded and complete.

With the growing senior population in Huntington County and continued demand for public transportation, the board of directors of the Council on Aging became aware of the need for a larger facility. A search for the new site went on for over two years and the West Park Drive location was purchased for $205,000.

The first building on the 4.3-acre site will be used for the Council on Aging and the Senior Center. A floor plan has been designed and when building renovations are completed, the facility will be twice the size of the current location with 7,000-square-feet of usable space. A second building behind the first is already being used to house the transportation vehicles for Huntington Area Transportation (HAT).

The new location was purchased on December 31, 2010 and extensive renovations are planned. The Council on Aging operates the Senior Center, with its many programs and services for the senior citizens of Huntington County, as well as HAT from the current location in the Huntington County Annex Building, 354 N. Jefferson Street. This facility is rented from the county. The new site will also provide a large area for parking lacking in the current downtown location.

Holly Saunders, executive director of the Council on Aging, said that the new building will allow the senior center to accommodate a larger number of people, host multiple activities concurrently and offer additional activities. She continued, "The Senior Center will be able to offer activities like computer classes and a garden, in addition to being able to offer more than one service at a time. In the Courthouse Annex, only one office is available for various service providers that visit the center, such as insurance counselors and medical staff.”

Funding for the building’s renovation is being sought. A capital campaign is underway and grant writing is taking place to search for the much needed dollars. A campaign committee has been organized including Bill Hancher, chairman; Mayor Brooks Fetters; Richard Hawley and John Mignone. Hawley is also the president of the current board of directors with Mary Ruthi serving as vice president and Keith Eller, treasurer. Other board members include Jodi Eckert, Jon Ellet, Donna Lahr, Marcia McClelland, Jaime Miller, Kathy Newsome-Miller, Sally Schenkel, Justin Wall and Karen Campbell.

Renovation costs are estimated at $900,000 or more. Without commitments by community members, businesses and individuals the renovations cannot begin. Donations and or pledges to the building campaign are currently being sought. Givers who contribute at least $100 will have their names displayed in the new building. There are also various levels of giving and naming opportunities for the building and various rooms according to the level of donation.

For more information contact the Huntington County Council on Aging, 354 N. Jefferson Street, Huntington, Indiana 46750 or call (260) 359-4410. Contributions are tax deductible.

The photo shows Huntington County Council on Aging members and visitors to the Chamber After Hours inside the Council on Aging’s future location at 1450 W. Park Drive discussing plans for its renovation and use. Funds are needed to complete the renovations.