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Senior Services Of Wichita Begins $6M Building Renovation Project

Deborah Shaar
The Downtown Senior Center located at 200 S. Walnut.

Senior Services of Wichita has started the first phase of a $6 million renovation project for its downtown senior center.

The building on South Walnut in the Delano District dates back to the 1950s.

Senior Services is working to remodel and expand the facility to meet the needs of the growing senior population in the community.

Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW
KMUW/File photo
The Meals on Wheels kitchen in its current state. The remodel would triple the kitchen's size.

Executive director Laurel Alkire says the kitchen that’s used in the Meals on Wheels program will triple in size.

"We’ll have more prep space, more storage space," Alkire says. "We want to start experimenting with choice in menu items. We know Baby Boomers are going to want that, and we just never had the capacity to do that until we have our new kitchen."

Alkire says the expansion will allow them to provide up to 3000 meals a day to homebound seniors. Currently, they are preparing up to 900 meals each weekday.

The renovation project also includes adding more space for the employment program and recreational activities at the senior center.

Alkire says they’ve raised half of the $6 million needed for the project through private donations and launched a capital campaign to help meet the goal. The first phase of renovations is expected to take eight to ten months.

She says the downtown senior center has the largest membership of the four centers in the Wichita area. She expects the number of seniors using their services to grow in the next ten years.

"We are needed now, but we are really going to be needed in the future," Alkire says. "There are going to be a lot of baby boomers who are going to need our services. We know that they are going to expect a little bit different kind of service, and we have to be ready to give it to them."

Senior Services is a private, nonprofit, non-government organization that has served Wichita’s seniors since 1968.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

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