Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 28, 2013

In advance of Monday's meeting, seniors sound off on rec center

Niagara Gazette — When Lewiston officials unveiled the rough plans for a new $10 million recreation and senior center last year, the input they received appeared to be mostly positive.

Organizers and committee members responsible for creating the center said the facility fit a desperate need in the community and everyone they talked to agreed with them.

Not so fast, say many of the senior citizens who occupy the current center on Tuesday afternoons, the busiest day for the Lower River Road facility which a new center would make obsolete.

"I feel the center should stay where it is," Helen Brzusek, vice president of the center's Senior's Club, said. "They can spend the money to fix the roof. We're private here and we're happy."

In an effort to provide the public with as much information as is available right now, the town has scheduled an open meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, with members of the town board expected to attend with Lewiston-Porter School Board members, as well as those from the town's planning board, environmental commission and bureau of fire prevention.

Lew-Port representative are invited because the town is negotiating a land purchase from the district to house the center, which would be built in front of the district's high school on Creek Road near Pletcher Road.

It's a mere stone's throw from the current senior center, but the drive to the school campus has others at the center worried about safety.

"The trucks go barreling down Creek Road," Stella Reed said. "I'm worried about the traffic. And the time we'd be leaving the center is also the time the school buses would all be converging at the schools. I don't think it would be safe."

Creating a new senior center as part of the multimillion-dollar recreation center also served as a way to avoid making needed repairs to the existing one. The roof of the building is in dire need of replacing, as it leaks consistently. The staff could also use a new, larger kitchen to prepare its meals it offers every weekday.

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