Offering health screenings, exercise programs, cooking lessons and a variety of other activities for older residents, Howard County's newest senior center will open its doors in Elkridge tomorrow.
"The Elkridge seniors are really excited to finally have their own senior center," said Elaine Flemion, director of the new center.
"They have waited a long time for this."
The $300,000 Elkridge senior center is one of two the Howard County Office on Aging is opening this month, bringing the total number of centers to 10.
The other new center -- a county-owned house that was renovated and furnished with a $56,700 county grant -- will open in western Howard County the middle of this month.
That facility also will include such services as occupational therapy and extended nutrition programs in what is called a "Senior Plus Program," for those who have physical or other limitations.
At the Elkridge center, officials expect to serve about 50 senior citizens at a facility that includes a meeting room with a video screen, crafts room, kitchen and two offices.
"It's really a wide variety of activities we have at the centers," said Star Sowers, who oversees the operations of the senior centers. "There really is something for everyone."
The new center will be a welcome change for Elkridge residents, say those who work with the elderly.
For 10 years, Elkridge seniors have met in the dining hall of the Unity Baptist Church on Montgomery Road, awaiting their own meeting place.
Although officials say they appreciated the hospitality, they were able to meet there just four days a week and generally were limited to serving about 25 seniors at a time.
"The church was wonderful," Ms. Sowers said. "We were just looking for more space."
The new center will be open five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The center also will offer hot lunches, for which donations are accepted.