After closing due to the pandemic, local senior center reopens with upgrades

Local News

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The doors are open once again at the L.E. Phillips Senior Center in downtown Eau Claire. First News at Nine’s Maria Blough was there for the re-opening and has a sneak peak of some recent renovations.

A full parking lot, coats hanging in the closet, and a group exercise class. These are some of the sights and sounds signaling that the L.E. Phillips Senior Center is back.

“As they come through the door they’re back together again, the excitement is just–the energy in the air is amazing,” said the center’s executive director Mary Pica-Anderson.

She said it’ll take some time before the center returns to normal with all its program and activities.

“A little bit at a time we’ll add it on as leaders in those areas are comfortable, as the ordinances allow us to move forward, so each day, each week something new could be added,” Pica-Anderson said.

While the center was closed, already scheduled renovations were able to be completed sooner than expected.

One of those projects: this room filled with senior-friendly exercise equipment.

For Alex Nemzek, the upgrades are a nice touch though he’s just happy to be back.

“It’s nice to see old friends again,” Nemzek said. “A lot of us have seen each other over the last three or four months, but it’s nice to have the grouping.”

Those like Judy Tulgren said the wait has been worth it.

“I love having the center open again,” Tulgren said. “I’ve been waiting all winter for it to reopen. It’s beautiful. They did such a nice job remodeling and adding on to this building. We are very lucky.”

With these upgrades and expansions, Pica-Anderson said the center can continue its mission to help the community age actively in both body and mind.

In Eau Claire, Maria Blough, First News at Nine.

Construction work at the senior center is not complete just yet. Pica-Anderson said they’re about 90% done inside the center. She hopes all the changes will be done in the next couple of months.

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