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April hours and programming set for Aberdeen Activity Center

The Aberdeen Activity Center, formerly the city’s senior center, will be open five days a week for adult programming starting in April.
The Aberdeen Activity Center, formerly the city’s senior center, will be open five days a week for adult programming starting in April.(Matt Button / The Aegis)

The Aberdeen Activity Center, formerly the city’s senior center, will be open five days a week for adult programming starting in April, and Harford County officials plan to expand those hours and programming later this spring to include local youths.

Tim Getz, of the Harford County Department of Parks & Recreation, gave a presentation to the Aberdeen Mayor and City Council Monday evening on the hours and programming that will be available in April at the building at 7 Franklin St.

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He also introduced Zach Dawson, a county recreation specialist who has been working at the Havre de Grace Activity Center for the past year and a half and will be the main point of contact for the Aberdeen Activity Center.

“He’s groomed and we think he’ll be ready,” Getz said. “He’ll do a great job.”

Public workshops for a land-use study on areas west of I-95 in Aberdeen begin April 10.

The senior center building was closed for nearly a year after suffering severe damage when a tree fell on its roof during the March 2018 wind storm that caused extensive damage throughout Harford County.

The building reopened as a county activity center, open for adult and youth programming, in late January. Seniors had been traveling to the activity center in Havre de Grace for their programs — that facility has also been the hub for Aberdeen Parks and Recreation since their headquarters in the former Aberdeen High School building along Route 40 suffered water damage from a leak several years ago.

“A lot of the seniors were displaced — they’re looking for a place to come,” Getz said of expanding programming to include adults of all ages. “We want to welcome them in but not just open it to seniors, open it to the adult population as well.”

The activity center will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, Getz said.

Programs for card players will be available Mondays and Tuesdays; the Golden Age Club will meet there Tuesdays; billiards will be available Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the local quilting group will meet Fridays, according to Getz.

Once May arrives, center operators should be expanding with evening hours and establish “the bulk of our programming” for youth.

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The main phone number for the activity center is 410-638-4789. Anyone who wants to set up a program should call and speak with Dawson, Getz said in response to a question from Mayor Patrick McGrady.

County Parks & Recreation staff can run classes if they are knowledgeable in the subject area — Getz cited two staff members fluent in sign language who can teach that subject — or the department can reach out to volunteers who can teach activities such as Zumba, or staff at the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center in Abingdon who can teach classes on the environment.

Getz noted an introductory class on the outdoors called “Critters of the Estuary and Nature Programs” scheduled for March 29, for adults and children, “filled up immediately.”

People can register for classes online by visiting the Harford County government website and clicking the “Parks & Recreation” tab near the top of the home page.

McGrady said he has received a number of requests on Facebook about setting up a Spanish-language class for children at the activity center. Getz said parks and recreation staff have been in contact with the woman who previously taught Spanish at the senior center about restarting that program.

Seven vehicles were vandalized over a week with some type of gun in Aberdeen and city police are asking for the public’s help.

Getz said his department will advertise and put out information as programming expands and said “that’s beneficial,” the more the city can also pass along that information.

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“As we continue to incrementally grow the programming we’re happy to support in any way that we can,” McGrady said.

The mayor also suggested parks and recreation staff visit the upcoming Harford County Earth Day celebration, scheduled for April 27 in Festival Park in Aberdeen.

“Maybe there’s some cross pollination we can do, so let’s work on that,” McGrady said.

Getz responded that “that would be great.”

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