Committee starts work on finding new leader for senior center | SENIOR OUTLOOK

I wandered down Brien Avenue recently to bring you this mid-July update on the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.

The exterior frame is up and its walls wrapped in Tyvek, ready for the siding to be put on. The roof has been tarpapered and awaits its shingles for completion.

After these two steps, the siding and the shingling, the exterior will look pretty much like a finished building.

The interior has its room divisions already framed, but needs floors, walls, carpet, paint, furniture and all the other interior decorating amenities before we can move back in and feel at home again. That won’t happen until the fall, probably sometime in November, if all goes as planned.

When we return, a new director will be there to greet us.

Who will that mystery man or woman be? No one knows as yet.

That will be determined by a selection committee made up of representatives from the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation Department and the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center.

Committee members for the Parks Department are John DeMeyer, recreation services director and Amy Swenson, human resources director. Representatives from the senior center are Jane Allan, executive director; Don Fisher, Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center board president and Dian O’Brien, board vice president.

Resumes are being received and studied as the process goes forward so that the best possible choice is made and a new director is ready to take the helm when we say goodbye to Jane Allan at the end of September.

The committee has a daunting challenge before it, but so does the candidate who is chosen for the position. Jane will be a hard act to follow.

The new director must quickly get to know our 1,000 or so members and the multitude of programs, classes, games, trips and physical activities that the senior center provides to keep seniors mentally and physically involved. He or she will be the liaison between the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Parks & Recreation Department and the nonprofit wing of the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center. That will require an understanding of the part each plays in making our senior center programs possible.

This includes learning about the nearly 200 members who volunteer to run, manage, teach, facilitate or serve as receptionists, lunch workers or thrift shop salespeople. The hours they contribute in sharing their skills would equal the value of six full-time employees in the business world.

As the year winds down into November and the days grow shorter and wetter, it will be nice to have some new beginnings to pep us up. A remodeled building offering more efficient use of its space and a new director to greet us will be a novel experience.

We’ll sit down in the new lounge to socialize with old friends and compare our opinions on all of the changes. We’ll wander into the thrift shop to check out the new arrivals collected during the reconstruction months. We’ll sample a fresh cup of coffee and enjoy a happy homecoming.

It will be something to look forward to when summer fades away.

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