Seniors navigate ‘smooth’ renovations at The Social

Greenwood seniors and volunteers are continuing to navigate an extensive remodel at a popular senior center, traveling between different off-site locations to attend activities and programs.

But the transition has been smooth, leaders and participants of The Social said this week.

Debbie Ewing volunteers and participates in activities four days a week. Much to her surprise, navigating the renovation has been easier than expected, she said. In two months, Ewing said The Social has actually seen an increase of about 50 people.

“I thought we would lose a lot of members because they have to go to different places, but we’ve picked up members because now the word is really out,” Ewing said.

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That number is a little less than average, said Andrea Sutherland, The Social’s executive director, but it is surprising considering the special circumstances.

Renovations have been underway since April, and activities and programs were moved to at least eight different sites while some were canceled temporarily. The food pantry was also closed.

The Social received a $500,000 grant earlier this year from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs to remodel the facility at 550 Polk St., after the organization’s leaders worked on designs for more than a year.

They are remodeling the inside of the building, including improving food pantry accommodations, adding square footage and creating more room for Rock Steady Boxing, a fun, non-contact treatment for people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Funds are still being raised for additional items such as furnishings, Sutherland said.

The only negative to having different activities at various locations is the fear of losing people before they’re officially signed up, Ewing said.

One senior, who has been traveling between different off-site locations, also said navigating the renovations has been easier than she thought it would. Jeanne Wallace, who participates in multiple activities including Bingo and cards, said the only problem she has ran into, is when her 9 a.m. Samba activity runs late and she has to rush over to Stretch and Flex — an 11 minute drive.

“I am so surprised how well things are going,” Wallace said. “I don’t think anybody is complaining.”

Construction at The Social has been going well, Sutherland said. The only unexpected problem they ran into was rotting wood on the back wall of the pantry. Other than that, everything is going as planned and they are still on schedule for a fall re-opening.

“With construction, you kind of always expect the worst, but it’s actually not too bad,” Sutherland said. “We’re excited that it’s stayed on track.”

All the framing inside the building is finished. The heating, ventilation, air conditioning system and electric is almost complete, she said. In July, they will start on the drywall process and the square footage expansion to the back of the building, she said.

“Every day we come back, it’s a completely different place,” Sutherland said.

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Here is a list of when and where The Social activities and programs are currently scheduled. Maps will be available upon request.

Body Balance and Strength: 9 a.m. Monday; The Refuge, 1111 South Park Drive, Greenwood.

Wood Carving: 9 a.m. Monday and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday; The Refuge.

Ballroom Dancing: 9:30 a.m. Monday; Crestwood Village South (Clubhouse Ballroom), 8809 S. Madison Avenue, Indianapolis.

Line Dancing: 10:15 a.m. Monday; Crestwood Village South (Clubhouse Ballroom)

NIA: 10:30 a.m. Monday and Wednesday; Rosegate Garden Home.

Duplicate Bridge: 12:45 p.m. Monday; Elevation Church, 8902 S. Sherman Drive, Indianapolis.

Hand and Foot/Samba: 9 a.m. Tuesday; Greenwood Village South, 295 Village Lane, Greenwood.

Stretch and Flex: Noon Tuesday and Thursday; Greenwood Meadows (Lounge 400), 1200 N. State Road 135, Greenwood.

Euchre: 1 p.m. Tuesday; The Refuge.

Craft Club: 9 a.m. Wednesday; University Heights (Rehab Family Lounge), 1380 E. County Line Road, Indianapolis.

Gentle Yoga: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday; The Refuge.

Mah-Jongg: 1 p.m. Wednesday; University Heights (Rehab Family Lounge), 1380 E. County Line Road, Indianapolis.

Folk Dancing: 9:30 a.m. Thursday (there will be no first Thursday class each month during construction); Crestwood Village South (Clubhouse Ballroom).

Contract Bridge: 1 p.m. Thursday; The Refuge.

TOPS: 9 a.m. Friday; Village Bible Church, 695 Pushville Road, Greenwood.

Bingo: 10:30 a.m. Friday; The Refuge.

Mexican Train: 12:30 p.m. Friday; The Refuge.

Book Club: 12:30 p.m. on the last Friday of each month; Greenwood Public Library (second floor group study room), 310 S. Meridian St., Greenwood.

Bid Euchre: 1 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month; Demaree Crossing.

Rock Steady Boxing:

1 p.m. Monday;

12:30 p.m. Tuesday;

6 p.m. Wednesday.

All classes will be conducted at The Refuge, 1111 South Park Drive, Greenwood.