By SARAH INGRAM HD Media Jan 6, 2021
CEREDO — Seniors of Ceredo will have a new place to hang out and work out after the opening of the new Ceredo Senior Wellness Center, set for the end of January.
Ceredo Mayor Paul Billups said the old Ceredo Elementary School had been sitting empty for too long, and he is excited to bring new life to the space for community members to enjoy.
“The Board of Education vacated it, and we took our time to decide what the best community use for it was and we decided that a senior wellness center would be the most value out of our dollar and provide the most to the public,” he said.
The facility includes rooms for Zumba, Silver Sneakers workouts, cardio and weight lifting workouts, pickleball and cornhole, a lounge area and a meeting room.
There is also a room dedicated to the Golden Girl Group Home for workout equipment and a practice area for the Ceredo Alumni Band, and Billups said they plan to set up a recreation area outside for use during warmer weather.
Billups said there will be a small membership fee, but it will not be too expensive. He also said there will be precautions taken while COVID-19 is still prominent in the area, but he believes the center will be able to utilize the facility completely in the future.
“This is all dependent on COVID; we’re going to take precautions and have hand sanitizer and everything we need to do to keep people safe,” he added. “Now, with this vaccine that could be available soon, that will hopefully open up some more possibilities and free range for this place and the people, so we just have to be patient.”
Community members Barry and Rhonda Scragg said they are looking forward to the opening of the wellness center and said it will be a great place for seniors to spend time.
“The mayor of Ceredo is saving the senior citizens that still care about fitness,” Barry Scragg said. “We have nowhere else to go, but the mayor and everyone is stepping up to give us a nice place to exercise and be together.”
The construction of the wellness center has been a low-cost project, according to Billups, who said a lot of the funding came from a special levy with funds meant specifically for community development projects and the donation of all the exercise equipment from the C-K Community Center. Additionally, he said there have been a lot of volunteers who have assisted in bringing the center together.
Ceredo’s maintenance supervisor, Dustin Long, has helped with the construction and said a lot of the labor comes from Ceredo’s public service employees. He said they have dedicated a lot of time to the space, and he thinks it will be a good spot for community members to enjoy and be proud of.
“Any spare time we have, we spend it here. These guys come in here and get work done while also keeping up with other projects in town,” Long said. “And it is something for the residents to be proud of. It can be beneficial for everyone, whether they want to work out or just meet up with people.”
Billups said they started thinking about creating the space just this summer and construction started around seven weeks ago. With the planned opening set for mid-January, he said the building had a good foundation and they just had to make a few changes.
In addition to moving in exercise equipment, Long said workers have been repainting rooms, resetting floors and replacing windows to allow more natural light in.