Home, sweet (expanded) home for Greencastle-Antrim seniors

October 15, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Seniors moved back into their newly expanded Greencastle-Antrim Senior Center Monday for the first time since May and all who were asked said they were pleased with the center's new look.

"It's a real blessing," said Jim Mutchler, 80. "I hope this brings more people out to the center instead of sitting at home watching TV. This is much better.

"We had all the furniture crowded into this room," he said, pointing to the original space.

The expansion nearly doubles the center's space, Helen Bitikofer, the center's manager, said Monday.

About 50 seniors come to the center every day for a noon meal and for the activities and fellowship it offers, Bitikofer said. Her goal is to recruit more patrons.


"We could easily handle 70 or 80 now," Bitikofer said.

She said she tries to design programs based on what the seniors want.

The addition was built onto the back of the existing building at 10615 Antrim Church Road

There is now room for placement of a quilting frame. Some of the women who come into the center have been quilting all their lives, said Barbara Hight, a center volunteer.

"Now they can hold quilting bees," she said.

A pool table may also be brought in if the seniors want one, Bitikofer said.

The biggest improvement, senior Glenn Miller said, is the computer room. Before construction, the center only had four computers. They sat along a wall in the original room. Now there is a bank of 12 computers in a special room of their own. The computers are hooked up to a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) which provides high-speed Internet access.

Seniors use the computers to keep in touch by e-mail with family and friends who live far away, Bitikofer said.

The center also plans to give computer lessons.

Bitikofer said she wants to set up an Internet cafe so the seniors can buy soft drinks and snacks when they come in to use the computers.

The seniors met at a church on Carlisle Street during construction.

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