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Library amenities meet social, recreational needs of community’s senior citizens

Post Date:10/15/2019 3:13 PM

Services for senior citizens at the West Chester Activity Center will end this week, but there will be all new opportunities presented to our senior citizen community at the MidPointe Library – West Chester.

Community First will wrap up programming at the center on Thursday, Oct. 17.

“Community First and Partners in Prime have been wonderful community partners and their commitment over the past 10 years has been much appreciated. We wish the agency much success in the future,” said Larry D. Burks, West Chester Township Administration.

Senior-Programming-WC-web_9459Community First gave notice to the Township earlier this year of their intentions not to renew their contract to operate, manage and maintain the property at 7900 Cox. The building, the Township’s former library, was in need of costly repairs and neither Community First nor West Chester Township were prepared to make these significant investments.

The senior citizens who have enjoyed programming together at the Activity Center, however, won’t be without a home. West Chester’s branch of the MidPointe Library is prepared to welcome these seniors providing exceptional space and programming, even beyond what they have enjoyed at the Activity Center.

“We welcome the opportunity to further showcase library amenities to our community,” said MidPointe Library West Chester branch manager Amy Young.

The MidPointe Library, 9363 Centre Pointe Drive, has always welcomed the senior community, but on Oct. 21 those who have enjoyed the Activity Center will find fitness classes, spaces for games and fellowship and much more available to them.

West Chester staff has been working with community volunteers and speaking with seniors about their priorities and interests. West Chester focused on three qualities when looking for an alternative gathering space for the 50-70 senior citizens who visit the Activity Center regularly – accessibility, consistency and programming. The Library fulfills each of these requirements.

“Change is always difficult, but the Library feels like a winning combination of beautiful indoor and outdoor space welcoming to the type of gathering and fellowship the seniors enjoy at the Activity Center, and with friendly staff prepared to make them feel at home,” said West Chester Public Information & Engagement Director Barbara Wilson.

Seniors will have some scheduled use of the Library’s community rooms for playing cards, pot lucks and other activities. When the community room space is not available, they can enjoy all of the other great gathering space the library provides, including plenty of room to play cards and games.

The Library already hosts book clubs, speakers and classes for crafts, quilting, fitness and computers; and library staff is excited to work with the seniors to develop some special programming just for them.

West Chester dedicated the 50,000 square foot library in 2009, replacing the library on Cox Road. The nearly $13 million library was designed as a community gathering space and is operated by the MidPointe Library System.

The Library is not a dedicated senior citizen center, but neither was the Cox Road building ever intended to be that. The Activity Center was always intended to be a multi-generational center even though programming always leaned to the senior community based upon the partnering organization’s operations.

With extensive repairs needed at the 7900 Cox Road building and no programming support for the facility, West Chester Board of Trustees sold the township-owned property for approximately $1.8 million. The property sale will take several months to be final.

The West Chester Board of Trustees will continue to consider other options for community space to meet the future needs of residents and businesses. Further options will require consideration of budget, township operations and sustainability.

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