Majority support senior facility initiativeWORTHINGTON — A majority of those surveyed support the proposed Worthington Community/Senior Center, according to the results of a questionnaire distributed in February by the Community Center Advisory Committee.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — A majority of those surveyed support the proposed Worthington Community/Senior Center, according to the results of a questionnaire distributed in February by the Community Center Advisory Committee.
The roughly 385 people who completed the survey were asked about senior dining and other programming, location of the center and membership fees and funding for the center. Not all who completed the survey answered every question, resulting in varying totals, and couples filling out one survey were counted as one vote.
To the question “Do you support this project?” about 87 percent, or 272 of the 312 people who responded to the question, answered ‘yes.’
Sixty-one percent said a senior dinning program was either not of interest (185 people) or not of interest at this time (45 people). The rest (145 people) said they would be interested in a senior dining program.
The most respondents (57 people) thought the center should be ‘centrally located,’ with a downtown location being the second most preferred. The Central School Lot, Campbell Soup Lot and current and future YMCA were also included as location options. Seventy-five percent said the board should seek sites to remodel before building a new center.
“What surprised me the most was the people that though we should remodel a building instead of building a new building. I just thought they’d want something new,” said Senior Coordinator Alice Hoffman. “So that tells us we should maybe look at some places that are in existing spots.”
When it came to funding the center, 130 of 188 people, or about 69 percent, said they would be willing to pay a nominal membership fee. More than two-thirds of respondents also said costs should be covered by a combination of subsidized support and user fees.
Respondents were asked about a long list of programs they would like to see offered, with ‘educational classes’ (142 people), ‘games, cards, pool’ (129 people) and ‘fitness and exercise’ (124 people) being the most popular choices. “If we do exercise it would be basic exercise,” said Hoffman. “We’ll start with what we have and build the program with membership.”
Among those options drawing the least interest were art, painting and woodworking.
The ages of those responding varied from under 50 to more than 90 years of age, with the most respondents (140) falling in the 70-79 year age bracket.
Hoffman said the 70-plus group was more interested in activities like cards and pool, while she predicted Baby Boomers will have more interest in physical activities like hiking or cycling.
She added she would have liked more response from those in their 40s and 50s, who will be the next round of retirees.
“Maybe that’s the kind of people we have to seek out,” she said.
Members of the committee will present their findings to the city council in coming weeks and will hold a regular meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday at MC Fitness. The meeting is open to the public.