Central Crossing finalizes 7,000-square-foot expansion

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Open house and dedication to be held July 1

In July of last year, the Central Crossing Senior Center in Shell Knob held a fundraiser to build a 7,000-square-foot addition to its building.

The primary reason for the expansion was that the center, dedicated in 2003, had outgrown itself and needed more space for the numerous activities held there.

Jeff Harp, chief publicity officer and member of the center's board, said the expansion plans included adding nine rooms, which include an exercise room; game rooms; conference room; a new, expanded dining area; a storage area; janitorial room; computer room; bathrooms; and a 1,300-square-foot room to be leased by Mercy Hospital to provide physical therapy services. The total cost of the expansion was estimated to be approximately $300,000.

Work on the addition is now finished, and the center will celebrate with an open house and dedication July 1. The exact time is to be announced.

"It's such a good organization," said Harp, who began working at the center as a volunteer delivering meals and decided to get more involved. "You get sort of addicted, and you know you're helping the community. That's why I think the Central Crossing Senior Center is such a success and such a good group of volunteers, because it's made up of people who want to give back to their community. There are 40-some senior centers in the area and this one really stands out in my opinion."

Harp said the center has won four consecutive Silver Spoon awards from the Health Department, as it has had no violations in that time.

"With seniors especially, you want to make sure it's clean and safe," Harp said. "We have a tremendous dietitian there."

The decision to expand was made about a year and a half ago.

"We just didn't have room for anything," said Jerry Arnold, chief operating officer for the center and Seniors, Inc. "We had people in our storage room playing cards. We basically ran out of room. We do over 20 activities here."

Area seniors who participate in activities at the center can expect to receive socialization, good meals, lots of fun, and to connect with friends and the community.

Some of the games played include card games, Wii bowling, bridge and dominoes. In addition to games, meals and activities, the center also has a diabetic toenail clinic, a regular nail clinic and houses the WIC program.

Mercy Hospital, who has contracted with the center, will be offering physical therapy services one day a week on Wednesdays. They will celebrate with an open house and dedication on July 1 as well, and plan to see the first patients July 8.

"We signed a contract with Mercy for a rehabilitation center in the new addition," Arnold said. "That's been signed, sealed and delivered. We anticipate having the building completed by June 15.

"We do still need donations for things like window blinds, small tables and chairs. There are also opportunities to buy a room or be a room sponsor. We will have a list of things we need at the open house. We're also always looking for volunteers, we always have places for them."

Once opened, more classes and activities will be offered, including yoga, wood carving, Sit and Be Fit, Zumba and more. Other new games and activities will be planned based on interest. The center also has an outdoor Pickle Ball Court, and will have rooms available for meetings, seminars, conferences and workshops.

Arnold said a donation from Melba Eakin greatly helped fund the addition. The 7,000-square-foot addition almost doubles the size of the senior center.

"We are a very active community," Arnold said. "It will be a real nice addition for the community because there are so many activities there. Come July 1. everything will be open."

To make donations to the center, be a room sponsor, volunteer, or inquire about any of its services or activities, people may call Jerry Arnold at 417-858-9335, Jeff Harp at 417-858-0335 or the center at 417-858-6952.

The center is located at 20801 Hwy. YY-15 in Shell Knob.

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