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Contact(s):Scott Carter
(501) 371-4421

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, June 9, 2005

LR Breaks Ground For New Senior Center

East Little Rock 3,000 Square Feet Building Is Another Bond Program Project

(LITTLE ROCK, AR, June 9, 2005) — After over 30 years of programs offered in a cramped, converted office space, participants at East Little Rock’s Senior Center will soon have a new 3,000 square foot building designed for their use. Ground was broken today for this $192,975 project that was overwhelmingly approved by Little Rock voters in November 2003.

Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey was joined by City Director Johnnie Pugh, and current Senior Center participants at the groundbreaking. Also on hand were members of the Project Progress Committee (a group of citizens appointed by the City Board to monitor progress on the 2004 Capital Bond program) and Parks & Recreation staff.

According to Lareeta Robinson, supervisor for senior programs for Little Rock Parks & Recreation, “This facility will accommodate a daily attendance averaging 40 to 50 Senior Citizens. Currently, Little Rock Parks & Recreation Senior programs have an attendance of over 22,000 a year in four facilities (Dunbar Community Center, East Little Rock Community Center, Stephens Community Center, and Southwest Community Center). The total attendance for the East Little Rock Center in 2004 was 6,807.”

The facility consists of one men’s and one women’s handicap accessible restroom, a kiln and ceramics room, a kitchen, an exercise room, and a meeting room. Additionally, it offers an office for staff and storage space. Evelyn Tenpenny, an activity leader at the center, noted that, “Among the many activities offered for our Seniors are: arts and crafts, exercise programs, singing, nutrition programs, and playing cards and games.”

City Director Johnnie Pugh noted, “I am so pleased to have this new facility built. Of course I am pleased to see something like this here in Ward 1. But it is important for more than just my Ward. It will serve people from many parts of Little Rock. Our Senior programs are so important to the participants. They are not just a place to go spend part of the day – they offer fun and fellowship.”

“I think one of the reasons voters overwhelmingly approved the Bond program in 2003, was because it offered something for everyone,” said Mayor Dailey. “Not only was it balanced in all areas of the City, but every age group can benefit from it. The participants in our Senior programs are filled with so many ideas and so much excitement. I am pleased that we now will have a better space for them. This will make the program even stronger and more active. I cannot wait to see that.”

The East Little Rock Senior program started in 1972. It is located at the Nathanial Hill Community Complex. An addition was added to the east side of the existing building, which was converted office space. The new facility will be built near the existing space on a site that recently housed a Comcast studio.


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