Senior Center Gets Top Certification

     Although it has been a topsy-turvy year and a half for the Reidsville Senior Center, officials were still able to maintain its “Center of Excellence” certification from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

     The Center earned the top honor from the department’s Division of Aging after a rigorous application process even though the Center is not currently operating out of its North Washington Avenue site.

     In December of 2011, mold was discovered in the basement of the City’s Recreation Center, which housed both the Senior Center and Fitness Center. Reidsville officials quickly moved the seniors to satellite sites for various activities and services. The Senior Center uses the local gymnasium on the upper level of the Recreation Building, the City’s Teen Center and, through an agreement with the Salvation Army, part of The Citadel’s Community Building at 708 Barnes Street.

     City officials, including Center Coordinator Cindy Baynes, believe they were able to keep the designation because they have continued to provide the same services they were able to offer in the former location. Baynes was able to show the continuation of those services in the 103-page application that she filled out for the State.

     Baynes credited her staff, as well as other City departments, in helping achieve the certification during this transitional period. “Everyone truly worked together in a team effort to help us attain our ‘Center of Excellence’ designation,” she said. 

     Tom Wiggins, Assistant City Manager for Community Development/Parks and Recreation, felt credit for the certification should also be given to several other groups. 

     “We must thank the Senior Adult participants that regularly come to these facilities who have been understanding and patient with us during this time of transition,” Wiggins said, adding, “I also don’t think this certification would have been possible without the assistance of the Reidsville Salvation Army that continues to work with us in temporarily using their community building for senior programs.”     

     While the mold problem has been abated, City officials decided it would be easier on the seniors to remain in these current locations until a planned facility is constructed at the intersection of Morehead Street and Washington Avenue.

     North Carolina has approximately 160 Senior Centers, some of which are in the developing stages, and only 138 are full-time centers. The Reidsville Senior Center is    one of 79 across the State to achieve the distinction.

     The certification will be valid for five years. The Reidsville Senior Center received its first “Center of Excellence” designation in 2005. Certification is important because it makes the Center eligible for grant funding, which is based on ranking.