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Macon-Bibb seniors want new facility | News

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Macon-Bibb seniors want new facility

For four years, an old building on Adams Street has been home to Macon-Bibb's Senior Center.

But some seniors there say it's not enough.

"The building is just too small," Gwendolyn Strong said. "They think more of the dogs than they do the seniors."

That's as a $3 million SPLOST project for a brand new animal shelter moves forward with construction, but a senior center hasn't moved past ideas on paper.

"You look at the cost of an animal shelter as opposed to what's being spent here. These are human beings! These are contributing human beings," another regular senior at the center, Leroy Thomas, said.

Bibb voters approved $2 million for a new senior center three years ago.

But that money is still untouched because the county hasn't drawn up plans or picked a site.

"It doesn't have to be a brand new building but a building that gives us all the needs we would like," Ruth Hill said.

The seniors say they want larger rooms, a one-story building for better handicap access and active areas like a swimming pool and tennis court.

The center's director, Shay Moreland, says staying active is important for seniors.

"You see seniors swimming, walking around, playing tennis, playing basketball. I think that's what we're missing: an active facility," Moreland said.

On the asphalt behind the center, Thomas set up crates and boxes filled with dirt for a small garden that grows fruits and vegetables.

It's wheelchair-accessible and easy for seniors to garden while sitting, but Thomas says it'd be better if they could have a real garden elsewhere.

For the nearly 70 people who show up at the center daily, the fight isn't between man and man's best friend.

"Give the dogs what they need, but give the seniors what they need too," Hill said.

The fight is for a new senior center to take high priority for Macon-Bibb.

"Hopefully, we'll be here long enough to see it," Strong said.

Senior citizens make up 13% of Bibb County's population, according to the U.S. Census.


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