Wilsonville Community Center reopens
The Wilsonville Community Center, which was closed for 17 months during the COVID-19 pandemic, is back.
The center reopened this month and has brought back much of its pre-pandemic programming, though the popular lunches haven't returned. The venue some call a senior center now offers various clubs, game nights and seminars to the public. Masks are required indoors.
"I think what we found through this whole pandemic is that people not being able to socialize has had a major impact," said Brian Stevenson, Parks & Recreation program manager. "While we offer a variety of programs about anything and everything, the biggest thing that people thrive on at the center is the ability to socialize with friends and be in a social environment. Too many individuals, especially older adults, were confined to their home or apartment. That's why it was important to me to get the building open."
Stevenson said that about 20 people showed up for the return of bingo night last week. Other game nights available include cribbage and bridge. The I-5 Connection Choir also will begin meeting at the center again in early September, along with t'ai chi chih classes. A watercolor class will start soon but be conducted online.
"For certain programs, yes, (attendance is) as high as before," Stevenson said. "Overall, folks are just being cautious, and we don't have quite as many folks coming into the center as previously, but I think that's understandable. We want folks to come back when they are comfortable."
The parks and rec department also is introducing a Life 101 series that will feature discussions and insight about immune system functionality, Medicare, identity theft, estate planning and other important topics.
Stevenson said the meals may return sometime in late fall and added that the city is delivering 100 meals some days to local seniors, up from around 20-30 before the pandemic. They are looking for volunteers to help out with a reintroduced in-person program.
"We're wanting to be sure when we do reopen those, we can provide a safe environment and one folks are going to want to come into and enjoy lunch," he said.
The program manager said that people should return to the center only if they feel comfortable doing so and that the department is open to suggestions as far as programming. For more information on the center, visit www.wilsonvilleparksandrec.com/parksrec/page/community-center.
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