By Jessie Hellmann Kokomo Tribune
---- — The Kokomo Senior Center will be closed for repairs until August after April flooding caused $200,000 in damage.
Senior Center Director Tammy Corn said about 20 inches of water slipped in through the crawl space of the building, which is located in Foster Park, leaving it flooded for the first time in its 38-year history.
“This is the first time the building has ever taken on water,” Corn said. “It’s hung around the building before, and hovered at the door, but this is the first time it’s flooded.”
Corn said currently, the building is being gutted, all of the drywall is being redone, flooring is coming out and electricity and plumbing are being installed. With all of the ongoing repairs, the everyday activities at the center have been disrupted.
The senior center mainly aims to provide activities, meals and socialization for its 790 registered seniors, but due to the temporary closure of the building, some activities and meals have been farmed out to local organizations.
The YMCA will host line dancing, pool tournaments will be held at Rack-N-Cue, and the Area 5 senior lunches are every day at 12:30 p.m. at Terrace Tower apartments, located on South Bell Street. Despite these options, a lot of activities still aren’t available. In normal circumstances, the center offers activities five days a week.
“The socialization is a huge thing that we’ve lost here,” Corn said. “It’s affected (the seniors) greatly. Most of them have my cellphone number, and they call me a lot. They miss it. A lot of them are used to routines, and when the routine is removed, it’s tough.”
Randy McKay, Kokomo director of operations, said the estimated cost of repairs to the city-funded center will be $200,000 because of substantial damage, but the city aims to have everything done by Aug. 1.
Activity locations Euchre: 6 - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night at Primrose Retirement Communities Line dancing: 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Monday, 9 - 11 a.m. Friday at the YMCA Pool tournaments: Noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Rack-N-Cue Zumba: 9:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday at the American Legion K.O.F.F. (Kids over 55 bingo): 1 - 3 p.m. Friday at Ibn Saud Grotto