The Albany Senior Center will be “rebranded” as the Riverfront Community Center when it reopens, probably this fall, after being all but shut down since March 2020 because of state rules to slow the spread of the Covid disease.
The city council seemed delighted after hearing about the plans for the reopening from Kim Lyddane, parks and recreation director, at a work session Monday afternoon.
The gist of her message and her plan is that the center needs to diversify what it does and what it means to the community. It has to start making more revenue to support itself. It should offer programs that appeal to people of all ages. And it should always be a welcoming place for older adults as well.
The senior center opened on the riverfront at the foot of Washington Street in 1975 in what a few years later became Monteith Riverpark. It was expanded and remodeled in 1988.
The building gets about 20,000 visits a year. In fiscal 2019 it recovered, from fees for various programs, 34 percent of its costs, .
Lyddane offered no firm target date for reopening. But getting the place ready for a new array of activities and programs will probably take all summer, which puts the reopening some time in the fall.
As the Riverfront Community Center, the place will have an expanded schedule of leisure, skill building, education, wellness and fitness activities, along with what the recreation director called “fun programs for all ages.”
She stressed the center’s continued role in serving seniors. This includes having dedicated daytime hours for programs for older adults. Also, holiday meals and events for seniors are to be continued, and ties with various groups such as Meals on Wheels and Tax Aid will be renewed.
In short, Lyddane said, the center will continue to be a trusted resource for older adults.
The council, from what I could tell by watching the session on Zoom, liked what it heard.