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Posted on Jun 18, 2019

Quincy Senior Center needs a facelift, funds boost

When anything is over 50 years old, it needs maintenance. When it’s a public building, it becomes a matter of safety.
Quincy Senior Center, at 522 F St. SE, is a gathering place for local residents several times a week and was built in the early 1950s. The property has a lot that is old and worn.
“We don’t even have automatic doors for people in wheelchairs, neither outside nor inside. When a person using a wheelchair needs to use the restroom, they can’t go there unassisted,” lamented the center’s director, Stacia Soukup, in an interview June 3.
The area surrounding the building, the parking lot and the sidewalks, are in need of repair. Numerous cracks and holes in the pavement make it difficult for elderly people to navigate the surface – difficult, if not hazardous. If somebody gets around using a walker, it can easily get wedged in a groove or tip over.
Some patches of pavement are crumbling.
The Senior Center has no authority or money to upgrade the paved areas outside the building – that is the city of Quincy’s responsibility, according to the center.

A patch of pavement at the Quincy Senior Center has crumbled.
Photo by Dave Burgess/Post-Register

The center’s new board president, Mark Owens, has plans and hopes to improve the facility and its services. Owens has been president for the organization since February and prior to that, he was a board member for four years.
He is pleased about the “new” van that the center acquired from People for People in October 2018. Soukup said it has more than 200,000 miles on it, but the tires are good thanks to Commercial Tire, in Quincy, which donated the tires and installation.
“The van needs exterior work,” Owens said. “It also needs a paint job.”
He estimated the exterior work to add up to about $6,000 and the paint to cost $2,000 to $3,000.
The Senior Center is organizing a fundraiser on June 22, a taco and dessert event. Owens is hopeful it will bring in some money.
“We will use the vehicle for field trips,” Soukup said. “I’d like to organize them once a month.”
She fondly recalled such outings as a trip to Kennewick and a cruise from there as well as a visit to Royal City to see a nursery.
As for the Senior Center building and its needs, the list is long. As long as its lifespan. Soukup didn’t even know where to start listing all the things that need upgrading.
The facility is basically used Monday through Thursday. On those days, there is an activity as well as lunch. On Thursdays, the center hosts a Rotary Club luncheon as well as a community dinner.
“We have a wonderful kitchen staff,” Soukup said. “We do pay them.”
Once a month, the center has a special presentation.
The building is used plenty and shows wear and tear.
At numerous points of the building’s exterior, serious decay is visible and indicate the possibility of more extensive water damage.
With the staffing expenses and basic maintenance costs, it seems there isn’t money just now to do much else. The city of Quincy gives the center a stipend, and the other income is from dues and donations.
The taco feed planned for Saturday, June 22, is a public event to raise funds for the center. All ages are welcome, and the cost is $10. A taco buffet will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m., and a dessert auction will begin at 7 p.m. For more information, call Soukup at 509-787-3231.

By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register