Nov. 1, 2010
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, for the new city of Phoenix Helen Drake Senior Center at 7600 N. 27th Ave., (south of Northern Avenue).
Councilwoman Thelda Williams and Councilman Claude Mattox, District 5, will participate in the ceremony in addition to members of the Manzanita Senior Center, Holly Street Studio Architects, Brignall Construction and members of the community.
Funding for the new 12,766-square-foot senior center was secured through the 2006 Bond Program. It will replace the existing Manzanita Senior Center, located at 35th and Northern avenues. This will result in an annual lease savings to the city of more than $100,000.
The center is named in honor of Helen Drake, who worked for the city of Phoenix from 1965 to 1986. She was a pioneer and visionary for aging services and applied for a grant in 1968 to study the nutritional needs of minority and low-income elderly. In 1973, as the first administrator of the city’s Aging Services area, she applied for grant funding for the Senior Companion Program to assist homebound seniors.
The new center, located on four-and-one-half acres of land, includes a 4,165-square-foot multi-purpose room, serving kitchen, crafts room, computer lab, library and two activity rooms. Of the 114 parking spaces, 10 will be for people with disabilities. The outside area, shaded with more than 100 trees, includes an enclosed memory garden.
The center will offer a daily nutritious meal and a variety of programs including quilting, tai chi, Wii games, line dancing, beading, health and education presentations and special events.
Estimated completion of the new center is scheduled for summer 2011.