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Lordstown seniors get rec center



Published: Tue, July 3, 2007 @ 12:00 a.m.

The facility will offer activities that seniors want to do.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

LORDSTOWN — Ruth Mathews, Evelyn Butterfield and Mary Kenney like the idea of this village having its own senior center.

These are some of the folks who would use the facility when it opens July 18 at the former Gordon D. James Career Center on Salt Springs Road. The center is being opened by SCOPE Inc.

Mathews is 91; Butterfield, 89; and Kenney is 84. They are all eager for the center’s opening.

Janet Schweitzer, SCOPE director in Trumbull County, said the need for a center was discussed with Mayor Michael A. Chaffee, Councilman Arno Hill and Ron Barnhart, village planning and zoning director.

Chaffee also gave credit to Marty Gibson, village recreation director, for helping to attract the center.

“Seniors make up a significant part of our town,” the mayor said, adding SCOPE has programs the community can’t offer.

Schweitzer said funds from the county’s new seniors levy will pay for the center, along with future senior facilities in Champion Township and Cortland.

The activities

“We’ll do whatever they want,” Schweitzer said of the activities that will be available to those who use the facility.

Initially, the activities will include dancing, lectures, card playing and games, such as “toy bingo,” played for pennies.

A director for the center hasn’t been chosen, but will be filled from the ranks of the SCOPE staff.

The Lordstown center will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday with the hours expanded if there is a need for nighttime activities.

Schweitzer said the space at the former school doesn’t need remodeling. “We can use the space as is,” she noted.

The center will be accessible to people with disabilities on the first floor of what was once the school’s training restaurant with a full kitchen and cafe.

“The village is concerned about their senior citizens,” Schweitzer said.

Some of the seniors say there isn’t much for them to do in Lordstown.

Mathews, who has lived in the village since 1940, said she will use the facility “unless my legs give out.”

Attracting seniors

She often goes to the village administration building for noon lunches provided Monday through Friday by the Trumbull County Area Agency on Aging.

“I do it to be with somebody and get proper food,” Mathews said of going to lunch.

“I look forward to it,” Mathews said of the lunches, noting that when she’s home, she watches a lot of sports — Indians and Cavaliers.

Schweitzer said the site of the lunches will be moved to the center in hopes of drawing more seniors to the center and to the meal.

“If we could offer more than lunch, it would help,” Dawn Kovacs, site manager of the lunch program at the administration building, said of attracting more people.

Currently, she serves up to 12 people daily.

Butterfield isn’t up for any dancing at the center.

“I can’t dance. My legs are too stiff,” Butterfield said, adding that she would use the facility to play cards.

Kenney has lived in Lordstown since 1950 and is looking forward to cards and dancing.

She said she hopes the dancing will attract younger people — those older than 62. “They would come for dancing,” she said.

yovich@vindy.com


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