The North Berkeley Senior Center opened Aug. 29 after being delayed by COVID-19 complications since last spring, as Berkeleyside first reported.
Pandemic-imposed labor and supply chain shortages have slowed operations at the center’s contractor, according to Tanya Bustamante, manager of the Department of Health, Housing and Aging Services Division. City of Berkeley Community Services.
During the closure, the center also underwent aesthetic and infrastructural upgrades, including seismic, safety and environmental sustainability upgrades.
“I am so proud that we now have an earthquake-renovated building that includes solar power, a new HVAC system, and various aesthetic upgrades for the enjoyment of our Berkeley senior community,” Bustamante said. in an email. “Our senior center members have commented on the abundance of natural light and multi-use functionality of our rooms.”
Bustamante added that staff at the North Berkeley Senior Center and Judge Henry Ramsey Jr. South Berkeley Senior Center provide guidance and counseling services. They also offer a variety of classes and activities, including chair workouts, ping pong, line dancing, and art, to name a few.
According to a recent bulletin from Councilwoman Kate Harrison, classes will be offered virtually as well as in person. The North Berkeley Senior Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. Registration for the center’s services is free.
Access to the northern and southern centers is important, Bustamante added, as the number of elderly people is increasing.
“Adults over the age of 60 are the fastest growing segment of the population nationally,” Bustamante said in the email. “As our community of seniors grows, so does the need for services for this sub-population. The City of Berkeley is fortunate to have two senior centers that allow older members of our community to thrive.
Contact Molly Cochran at [email protected]and follow her on Twitter at @mollyacochran.