Harlem senior citizens soon will have a new place to hang out.
The construction of the city's first senior citizens center is expected to be complete in mid-August -- five months earlier than expected.
"I'm excited about it," said city Councilwoman Robin Root, who oversees the current senior program. "It definitely went faster than we thought it was going to."
The roughly $550,000 building is under construction at Harlem City Park. The center will include a fully-equipped commercial kitchen, classroom, large meeting room, game room, TV room, computer room and an office, City Manager Jean Dove said.
Seniors have been meeting for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Harlem Woman's Club. Tuesday luncheons usually include bingo as well, while Thursday meetings sometimes feature guest speakers, Root said.
The new building will allow for expanded senior programs.
"It is an opportunity to start looking at what other types of programs and activities we can get going," Root said.
As soon as the building is complete, seniors will start meeting there for the weekly lunches, and activities gradually will be expanded.
"We'll probably start out slow, then once funds are available and we have assistance with grants and stuff like that, we'll go more full-throttle," Root said.
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