WILMINGTON — Last Thursday, at the Elderly Commissioners Meeting, many members of the Wilmington Senior Center gathered in order to discuss the possibility of advocating for the construction of a new Senior Center.
Currently, the construction of the new Senior Center is included in Wilmington’s Facility Master Plan, which highlights improving/reconstructing town buildings, primarily the Wildwood School, Town Hall, and Senior Center, within the next 20 years. Members of the Senior Center are hoping to make the new Senior Center the top priority of this Master Plan.
The topic was brought up by Audrey Reed, a member of the Senior Center’s community. In her speech at the meeting, she highlighted the major reasons why a new senior center was necessary, as well as called on her peers to join her in taking action.
Among the major reasons she listed was the lack of physical space within the current Senior Center. Currently, the Senior Center lacks the proper space to host all events and classes; some must be held in other locations. Additionally, the current center lacks proper office space for its staff, and adequate parking.
Reed was also instrumental in causing the large turnout at the meeting, reaching out to many and encouraging them to attend. She noted in her statement that unity and power in numbers, especially at town meetings and votes concerning this issue, would be instrumental to their success, as it has been in the past.
Specifically, Reed used the high public interest/attendance numbers at votes/meetings concerning the Ristuccia Arena as an example of the influence such a movement could have.
“I saw what many young people could accomplish,” she said. “That made me think of what many elderly people could do.”
Many of those that did attend last week’s meeting pledged to continue to support the movement to build the new senior center, with many committing to attend future meetings, and helping to mobilize supporters among other tasks.
The Commissioners largely agreed with Reed’s sentiments, urging those in attendance to make their voices heard. They also advocated that they should seek the support of younger community members, such as those who may utilize and benefit from the Senior Center in the time frame it would take to construct the new one.
Above all, they stressed the importance of being seen and heard at selectmen meetings in order to voice their concern, encouraging them to attend the next one on Sept. 9.