North Charleston is hoping the state will provide the last of the funding needed to build the city's first senior center, at a location on Dorchester Road.
The city now offers programs and activities for older residents, but does not have a traditional senior center dedicated to their needs. Some senior activities are currently offered in converted houses or neighborhood centers meant for all ages.
"In other neighborhoods we use community centers, but seniors and kids don't usually mix," said Shannon Praete, the city's grants coordinator.
The planned Dorchester Road center will be 12,000-square-foot or larger with an aerobics pool, game room, library, meeting space and a kitchen, on land next to a city fire station near Michaux Parkway, Praete said.
"Hopefully the design will be done in the early fall," she said.
The city has about $2 million on hand for the building, and is seeking a state grant for $350,000, which would cover the remaining estimated cost.
City Council agreed Thursday to authorize the administration to pursue the grant from the Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging, which has a grant assistance program for senior centers.
The proposed North Charleston center, for use by people age 55 or older, could be under construction by late 2015, Praete said.
"It will be a place for seniors to get out, exercise, meet other people," she said.
It would be built on land owned and made available by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, directly behind the city fire station.
The city has set out a policy of locating senior facilities and recreation facilities next to fire stations, because city firefighters are trained in emergency medical services and can provide aid if needed to people using the adjacent facilities.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552
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