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HERMITAGE Agency on Aging to open new center



Published: Wed, January 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The geriatric health portion of the new building won't be open, but regular senior citizen programs will be in place.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- The Mercer County Area Agency on Aging will meet Thursday's deadline to vacate the Wheatland-Farrell United Methodist Church.

The agency's new Shenango Valley Center for Aging and Geriatric Health will be ready for occupancy Monday, said Paul G. Flint, chairman of the agency's board of directors.

The agency has been holding its senior center programs at the Wheatland church for the past three years after closing its Spearman Avenue building in Farrell in anticipation of gutting and renovating that structure.

The building plans changed last year, however, and the agency decided to move the center to Hermitage instead, financing the plan with a $2.4 million loan, through a bond issue backed by Mercer County.

The church wants full use of its basement level again and has been asking the agency to move out for some time. Thursday is the deadline.

Flint said the new center on North Buhl Farm Drive in Hermitage is now expanded and renovated to the point that the senior center and adult day-care portions of the program can open.

There won't be any agency on aging programs at the church Thursday, and no services will be offered until the new center opens Monday.

A grand opening will be scheduled at a later date.

The geriatric portion of the project won't be ready this week and has no exact opening time at this point, Flint said.

Decisions: There are still some decisions to be made on who will staff that facility. The immediate goal was to get the center open to begin running the regular senior citizen programs first, flint said.

The new center is expected to serve about 150 senior citizens a day.

A fund-raising drive to pay off the bond issue isn't in place yet either, Flint said, noting that effort will be launched after the center opens.




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