Lewes Senior Center officials plan to nearly triple membership within the next decade, so to make room for all the new members, officials broke ground Sept. 27 on a $1.7 million expansion of its facility on Janice Road.
The addition will add a lounge, large fitness rooms and more space to allow a wider selection of programs for the growing membership.
Board President Andy Zampini says membership is projected to grow to 1,800 by 2020 and 3,500 by 2025.
“This [expansion] is essential, as the Lewes Senior Activity Center evolves to meet the needs of our fast-growing retiree population in our service area,” he said.
The board says the larger facility will make the Lewes Senior Activity Center the premier place for the area’s senior community; with more space, the center will expand its services.
There will be more programs throughout the day, such as zumba, yoga, dance and others. An exercise room that is double the existing size will offer more equipment and more opportunities for members to stay in shape. New pickleball courts, horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts on the grounds will offer new outdoor activities for members.
The objective is to provide a centrally located senior activity center where members can access programs to keep them healthy and independent through social and physical activities.
DelDOT’s plan to add a two-way road under the Nassau bridge along with the expansion of the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail will make the senior center more accessible than it’s ever been.
“The trail supports our commitment to healthy living and provides easy access to many nearby residents who living our surrounding community,” Zampini said.
The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by several local and state dignitaries, including Sen. Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes; Speaker of the House Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach; Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton; and Lewes Mayor Ted Becker.
Schwartzkopf thanked the senior population for working hard to make the country what it is today.
“It’s time we give back to you and make sure you have a lifestyle you want, a lifestyle that involves being physically, emotionally and socially active,” he said. “I want you to be happy and satisfied with your life.”
To pay for the project, the center has secured $750,000 from the NCALL Loan Fund. They also received a $25,000 donation from i.g. Burton and $10,000 from WSFS Bank.
To learn more about the project, go to lewesactivitycenter.com.