While work continues to move forward on changes to the former Ballinger Clubhouse, leadership of the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center admit that the facility may not be ready for full operations as soon as they had hoped for in early January.
The senior group is making the move to Ballinger Park after being selected to manage the facility for the City of Mountlake Terrace. The seniors are making upgrades to the building in order to better serve the needs of their members and to handle the programs they will offer.
The organization’s leadership had set Jan. 6, 2014, as the official start date for the Mountlake Terrace Community Senior Center at Ballinger Park, 23000 Lakeview Drive. While the building will likely be open, weekly senior lunches, normally served on Wednesdays and Fridays, may have to be moved during the first week of facility operations.
“The kitchen may not be ready yet, so we may have to serve lunch up at the (Bethesda Lutheran) church,” said Mike Cooper, Executive Director of the senior group. The group had called the church in the city’s Town Center District on 56th Avenue West, and a small cinder block building next door, home for years.
The kitchen and dining areas of the Ballinger building, officially call the Mickey Corso Community Clubhouse at Ballinger Park, are receiving extensive remodels; other changes to the building include new paint and carpet, upgrades to the restrooms, a reconfiguring of the office area, and a new reception island just inside the front entrance. The work is being completed primarily with volunteers and donated efforts by a local labor union; it’s being paid for by a $30,000 grant from the Verdant Health Commission.
The seniors hope to hold an official grand opening for the center in mid- to late January, most likely following final improvements to the facility scheduled to be done over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, Cooper said.
— Story and photos by Doug Petrowski