In the past 12 years, membership at The Center in Council Bluffs has nearly quadrupled, going from 470 in 2002 to 1,800 today. Unfortunately, while the patron growth has continued to increase, the size of the locker rooms has stayed the same. That will all change in 2015, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Iowa West Foundation for renovations, equipment and refurbishing.
In order to increase its capacity to engage adults 50 years of age and older through physical, social, recreational, and educational activities, The Center launched a capital campaign earlier this year, and this grant helps meet its goal.
“With an aging population projected to double in the next 20 years, never has it been more important for The Center to provide accessible, expanded wellness programs,” said Tom Whitson, Chair of the capital campaign. “The essence of our work is to keep seniors from becoming isolated, to increase their activity and productivity, and keep them independent in their own homes.”
In addition to the locker rooms, the new fitness equipment will be more interactive, have walk-through features for easier access for people with disabilities and offer more specific activities to improve balance.
“When seniors are physically and mentally active, they continue to contribute to local economy, so this is a good thing for all ages,” said Tom Jensen, Executive Director of the Senior Center. “Without the Iowa West Foundation, this project couldn’t be done.”
The renovations are expected to be completed in March of 2015.