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Senior center needed, but not finished yet

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Construction on a new senior center in Southport is nearly four months behind schedule, but the need for senior services in Brunswick County is here now.

Every day, the Southport Senior Center provides services to dozens of area seniors. However, the facility it’s housed in not big enough to handle the increased amount of seniors looking for assistance. That’s why the opening of their new facility can’t happen fast enough.

“We have limited space and limited activities as to what we can do here,” said Southport Senior Center Manager Shelly Behnken.

Soon, limited space will be a thing of the past when the doors open to a new $2.5 million facility at Highway 211 and Highway 87.

After years of planning, opposition and construction delays, the new senior center is expected to open in July, nearly four months behind schedule.

The Southport Senior Center and eight other facilities throughout Brunswick County are all part of Brunswick Senior Resources Incorporated, a non-profit agency that aids area seniors. Programs offered include meals on wheels, prescription assistance and wellness programs.

Behken said a new expanded facility will encourage more seniors to take advantage of their services. “I think it’s going to bring in a lot of seniors that haven’t previously tried to come here, because we haven’t been able to reach everybody’s interest.”

Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. is funded primarily through the county.

Brunswick Resources officials are looking to generate funds from the people it serves by becoming more self-sufficient, meaning instead of collecting donations like the facility does now, seniors already on fixed incomes may have to begin paying for help.

If they have to start charging, the fee will be nominal, only a dollar or two for each class or service.

The new Southport Senior Center is also expected to employ around 40 part time seniors.

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Story summary

videoConstruction on a new senior center in Southport is nearly four months behind schedule, but the need for senior services in Brunswick County is here now.

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