McMinn senior center undergoing restoration after flood damage
The McMinn County Senior Activity Center is currently undergoing reconstructive maintenance due to excessive water damage.
According to Senior Center Director Diane Hutsell, many of the rooms inside of the center suffered water damage after a pipe burst inside the building.
Hutsell noted that the flooding was discovered on Dec. 26.
“It’s going to be an entire new building when we open back up,” Hutsell expressed. “The end result and silver lining is that we are going to have a great building for our seniors.”
According to Hutsell, the damage was caused by a busted pipe that burst over the stage due to cold weather during December.
“About 95% of the building had flooded,” she noted. “I had standing water in my office and it had carpet in it. There was so much standing water that we pretty much had a pool in our billiards room.”
Since the discovery, Hutsell and senior center staff have been working to move, store and repair the building and its assets as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“It has been nice to see all of our crew working together,” she expressed. “It makes a very stressful situation a lot better.”
Despite the center being closed, they have maintained their activities and still encourage their members to meet and participate.
“Morning Pointe Assisted Living let us use their activity room and Athens Martial Arts has let us do our yoga classes at their studio,” Hutsell said. “It has been nice to have the community help ... Right now the general support of the community has been able to keep us going.”
Hutsell believes the members will be excited to see the new changes at the center upon its completed restoration.
“The walls are getting repainted, all the tile has to go, it’s really going to be a new center when it’s done,” she expressed. “It is crazy to see how things are going so quickly. The work crews are working faster than we can get things shuffled and it has been real nice to how well this community works and helps each other.”
Looking ahead, Hutsell plans to host a ribbon cutting and celebration for the center upon the completion of the restoration work.
“We want the community to come in and see what we do and learn what we can do,” she stated. “We want people to know that we are here and can provide things for their parents. In fact we have had people purchase memberships for their parents even while we were closed, so it is nice to have this community involvement.”
Their current goal is to have the restoration work completed by the end of February.
“In addition to being grateful to the community for the help, I’m also grateful for our seniors being patient with us while we fix this,” Hutsell said. “It is great to see the community come together to fix this.”