Senior center settles into new location

Thursday, January 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:53 p.m. CDT, Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Oakland Plaza Senior Center celebrates one month of operation today in its new home in the lower level of Vandiver Square, half a mile east of Rangeline Street.

“This is definitely an improvement,” said Sue Owens, who comes to the senior center every day. “It’s easier for the people in wheelchairs.”

The rent is the same as it was in their previous location, Oakland Plaza Lanes, said Brenda Woods, center administrator.

“We have more square footage here,” she said of the center’s new location.

The Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging, which oversees the Oakland Plaza Senior Center, provides lunch for an average of 650 seniors in Boone County every weekday. On average, 150 of those seniors eat at the Oakland Senior Center. The 63 Diner has been preparing all of the meals for the CMAAA for the last four years.

“We have a separate kitchen facility for them,” said Mary Evans, owner of the 63 Diner.

People 60 and over can eat lunch at the senior center for $2 or a donation every Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

When the center’s lease at Oakland Plaza Lanes ran out in July, its board decided to look for a larger space. The board will meet on Monday to decide whether a name change is in order.

The new center is divided into several rooms, which the seniors are decorating with different themes. Karen Welch, who likes to stay at the center after lunch to visit with friends, said she likes the new space.

“In the old place, when you got a crowd in there you could barely hear yourself think!” Welch said.

Roberta Wilhelm calls the senior center her country club. She and her husband, Mac, go to the center every day. She even schedules her doctor appointments around her time at the center.

Woods’ only concern now is that seniors who were out of town for the holidays won’t know where to find the center at its new location.

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