Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

 

Senior Center Expansion to Include New Teen Center

Carolyn Hill works on a painting project at the Perris Senior Center, which is expanding to include a variety of teen-age related activities
Carolyn Hill works on a painting project at the Perris Senior Center, which is expanding to include a variety of teen-age related activities.

The Perris Senior Center, known for decades as a bastion of activities and events for residents enjoying their golden years, is expanding and soon will provide a haven for middle and high-school students seeking a safe and fun hangout once their classroom day ends.

Work is rapidly concluding on a major upgrade to the Senior Center Building at D Street and San Jacinto Avenue in anticipation of a dedication scheduled for sometime in November.

The latest phase of construction includes a conversion of the Senior Center television view room into a multi-purpose room for seniors and teens.

Earlier improvements included new exterior facades, landscaping, larger and ADA-approved restrooms, new flooring and lighting and new kitchen counters and appliances in the Senior Center portion of the building.

Walter Carter, Community Services Manager, strolls through the Teen Center, which includes flat-screen televisions to operate Nintendo Wii systems
Walter Carter, Community Services Manager, strolls through the Teen Center, which includes flat-screen televisions to operate Nintendo Wii systems.

Total construction cost for both phases is $777,000, funding which came from money designated for such projects.
The Senior Center, which provides a variety of arts and crafts classes, Zumba dance classes and a pool table area, will continue to operate daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

When the center closes, the walk-in program for Perris teens will take over, said Walter Carter, Perris Community Services Manager. That program will stay open until 8:30 p.m. three or four days a week, depending on staffing levels.

The Teen Center will feature computers, the latest electronic game stations, game tables, a lounge area, furniture, flat-screen televisions to operate a Nintendo Wii system and a small recording studio for performing artists. Students can finish their homework, read, visit their friends or spend time watching television and chatting.

“It’s a complete transformation,” Carter said of the Senior Center.

Joy Oh looks on as teacher Anabela Hu works on a Chinese brush painting at the Perris Senior Center
Joy Oh looks on as teacher Anabela Hu works on a Chinese brush painting at the Perris Senior Center.

Perris City officials say the Senior/Teen Center marks another example of their commitment to improve infrastructure for the benefit of all residents.

The City in recent months broke ground on a new fire station, a new family apartment complex on D Street, a new sewer system in Enchanted Heights and early next year will open a sports complex known as Big League Dreams.

City Councilman Al Landers said elected officials are pleased and proud to be able to continue building during a persistent and deep recession.

“This is another great addition for the City of Perris,” Landers said. “The City has identified a need to upgrade our Senior Center and to bring quality programs and activities to our youth.”

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans said she recently toured the renovated Senior Center and came away impressed with the upgrades. She said the Senior Center provides a gathering spot for retirees looking for camaraderie and companionship in an inviting setting.

“I think it looks great,” Evans said. “I am thrilled.”

About 500 people use the Senior Center every week. Carolyn Hill said she stops by every Wednesday to take painting classes. She likes what the City has done to upgrade the Senior Center.

“They’ve done a nice job, it’s a pleasant place to spend an afternoon,” Hill said.

Anabela Hu teaches a Chinese brush painting class and says she gets seniors from Riverside, Murrieta and Temecula who are interested in taking painting lessons.  She said the staff makes sure her students have an enjoyable stay.

“They accommodate us,” Hu said. “It’s a place where the seniors want to come and enjoy themselves.”