Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 5, 2012

Financing for senior center in Russell comes through

Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson presented officials a check for $500,000 to begin renovations to the former Rail City Hardware building

RUSSELL — Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson presented an oversized check for $500,000 to officials in Russell Wednesday to finance the renovation of the former Rail City Hardware building on Ferry Street to serve as the new Russell Senior Center.

“We have a great need to keep the senior center open and growing and the current space (the Russell Depot) is getting very crowded,” said Ruth Hopkins, co-director of the center and wife of Mayor Bill Hopkins. “We must provide more space to keep people coming.”

The Community Development Block Grant will pay for the design and construction at the facility, said Russell Mayor Bill Hopkins, and the city has hired TSHD Architects to redesign the interior of the structure.

Mrs. Hopkins said a redesigned layout of the interior of the building will make it more accessible from the side parking lot and provide a new rear entrance. The city owns the old hardware building and the adjacent parking lot and both will be contributed to the use of the center. The senior center co-director said the wish list for the facility includes a new kitchen, new restroom facilities, a card room, a small library, a dining area and a television and computer area.

“However, the design will be in keeping with the historical significance of the building with the city of Russell,” she said, adding they hope is to have a design, construction cost estimate as well as the bid packages prepared within the next 60 to 120 days, so construction can begin in the fall.

“If we can get started this fall and get it under the new roof and work on it all winter, we should be able to, by this time next spring, be thinking seriously about moving in,” the mayor said.

The Russell City Council has approved, and the mayor has signed, a commitment letter to the Kentucky Department of Local Government, which manages the grant. Representatives met with officials from the Department of Local Government earlier this month to learn more about making use of the grant.

Carolyn Buckholz is co-director of the center with Mrs. Hopkins. For more information about the center, call (606) 836-1021 or (606) 922-8989 or email seniors501@aol.com.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.

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