Copperas Cove Senior Center reopens after outcry at council meeting
By LYNETTE SOWELL
After its doors being closed for about one month, the Copperas Cove Senior Activity Center reopened its doors on Thursday, April 7.
Tuesday’s Copperas Cove city council meeting had a lineup of seniors who addressed the fact that the center was still closed. For many, it is their primary means of socializing and having activities.
“Shame on all of you,” one gentleman told the council. “You have taken our senior center. We haven’t had any indication it’s going to open anytime soon. We feel like vagabonds. We have to go around begging people let us use their facilities. We appreciate the VFW. We appreciate the Lil Tex restaurant and the library for letting us come in. But we want our center back. We want it open. We hear it’s because of personnel problems. Well, we're all grown adults, we don't need a babysitter, and we know how to dial 9-1-1 If we need something. All we're asking is open the doors.”
Another resident said that until they came to the senior center, they had been in Copperas Cove for a full year without any friends.
“I came to the center, and have made real friends, and the place is like a second home to me. The doors closed, and kudos to the establishments that have opened their doors to us, but having a permanent place to go is important to us. Some of us can't make it to all of the different facilities. So we would ask that you would please open up facility so that we can use it until the permanent one is opened.”
A total of six residents addressed the council, including Herb Wright, past post commander of VFW Post 8577, one of the organizations that has welcomed seniors to their facilities. He reminded the council that the VFW has set a 90-day limit to having the seniors there, and if anyone had any questions to call him.
The city followed up with a press release on Wednesday, in which it was announced that the center would be reopening.
Kevin Keller, Public Relations Director for the City of Copperas Cove, said the center will be opened and operated by City staff from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays, primarily to serve as a meeting place for the seniors.
“Programming will remain very limited, if at all, until the full-time position can be filled,” Keller said, addressing the usual calendar of events for the center, which includes crafts activities and visits by local agency reps.
The center, located at 1012 North Dr. #5, was closed due to a position vacancy, that of the Community Outreach Director, who oversees the center’s daily operations and activities. The City had posted the position on March 18.