Southaven unveils senior center plan

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss — Ellen Wounsch believes it’s important for senior citizens to have activities to keep them busy, ”It gets me out, my brain thinking and socializing. For old people, it’s good.”

Wounsch comes to the Southaven Parks Department building to play cards and talk with friends.

Even those who don’t use it a lot say their senior activities are a lifeline.

”I don’t utilize it that much. I do come here one day a week and play bridge. Beats staying home by yourself,” explained Ann Yancey.

That’s why Southaven leaders years ago promised a new senior citizen’s building, and got voters to approve a “penny for parks” tax to pay for it.

But a few years later, a new Mayor and Aldermen drew new priorities and put the seniors building on the back burner.

Now, that’s changing.

Southaven wants to spend about 4 million dollars to carve out 20,000 square feet of space just for seniors at the existing parks building.

Southaven leaders didn’t want to talk on camera about their plan, but they’ll meet with a panel of seniors next week to make a formal presentation.

Plans call for building an addition for a full industrial kitchen and a separate entrance just for the seniors.

Those plans also call for more square footage than the original plan, making room for new activities.

”I don’t know. I may do more than just the bridge playing,” said Yancey.

Now, seniors that had become critical of Southaven leaders for not keeping a promise have come around, to an extent.

”It’d be very nice. It’s very important, seeing is believing,” said Wounsch.

These seniors say a promise made, should be a promise kept.