Remodeling begins at City Center Mall for senior center relocation

Gathering for the remodeling groundbreaking of Cambridge Senior Center’s relocation to City Center Mall includes Sharon McAndrews, Dolores Furo, Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer, Barbara Bergwall and Betty Siems. Photos by Rachel Kytonen

Gathering for the remodeling groundbreaking of Cambridge Senior Center’s relocation to City Center Mall includes Sharon McAndrews, Dolores Furo, Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer, Barbara Bergwall and Betty Siems. Photos by Rachel Kytonen

The Cambridge Senior Activity Center is making progress on its plans to relocate inside the Cambridge City Center Mall.

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, members of the Senior Center, the Isanti County Commission on Aging, as well as Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer, gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony. The Senior Center is tentatively planned to move into its new location in May.

The Senior Center leadership has been planning for some time to relocate the Center to the mall for a variety of reasons, including better and easier accessibility, safer and more convenient parking, and being in a more centralized location.

“Whenever something good happens, we do the happy dance,” Palmer said. “We’ve been able to do the happy dance a few times over the years at city council meetings, and today we do the happy dance with you. You’ve been patient with this remodeling and worked hard to raise funds for it. We are happy for you.”

The Isanti County Commission on Aging received a proposal from BJ Baas Builders to remodel the space inside the mall for a cost of $90,169. The main space for the Senior Center is 1,300 square feet. An additional 778 square feet will be remodeled in the future for various Senior Center uses, including space for community meetings.

“A lot of hard work has been done by a lot of people to get us to this point today,” said Betty Siems, vice president of the Commission on Aging.

The Senior Center for many years has been, and still is, located at 332 Third Ave. NW in Cambridge, where parking and accessibility have been concerns.

The mall location includes dining tables, a commercial kitchen and large area in the back that can be used for senior meetings, as well as other organizational and community meetings. The commercial kitchen will be a licensed kitchen and will also serve as a crisis kitchen to make meals for police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders if needed.

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer (left) and Barbara Bergwall, Senior Center coordinator, get ready to take a whack at the remodeling space.

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer (left) and Barbara Bergwall, Senior Center coordinator, get ready to take a whack at the remodeling space.

The Commission on Aging continues to hold fundraisers to help finance its move to the mall. Its next fundraiser will be a Ribs and Chixfest dinner Friday, Feb. 28, at the Senior Center’s current location.

There will be 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. seating times. Tickets are available at the senior center for $15 each or by calling 763-689-6555. The menu includes: glazed gingered chicken and Mama’s barbecue ribs, creamed real potatoes, baked beans, choice of broccoli raisin salad or cole slaw, Mae’s homemade buns, scratch carrot cake or peach cobbler, and coffee.

The Senior Center also has a fund at Minnco Credit Union for those wishing to make a financial contribution to support the move to the mall. Donations can be made at any Minnco location payable to “Isanti County Commission on Aging.”

The Commission on Aging is also seeking appliances to furnish its kitchen. It mentioned GracePointe Crossing donated a convection oven, and an anonymous donor donated a commercial range. If interested in donating an appliance, or for more information, call 763-689-6555.

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