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ALACHUA COUNTY - The future Alachua County, City of Gainesville and Elder Care of Alachua County, Alachua County Senior Recreation Center has been awarded a $2 million dollar State grant. Governor Charlie Crist announced this and other grants today at an event in Miami.
In speaking of the grant, Alachua County Manager Randall H. Reid said, "The addition of this grant money to the money that will be raised by the Wild Spaces and Public Places initiative that passed on Nov. 4, will allow for the construction of a much needed Senior Center that will now be able to offer many more opportunities to this historically underserved segment of our community."
The Governor's Press Office Release is reprinted below:
MIAMI - Governor Charlie Crist today announced $10 million in grants to repair and maintain 19 senior centers around the state, including funds for construction of new senior centers in Miami, Gainesville and Apalachicola. Governor Crist and Department of Elder Affairs Secretary E. Douglas Beach announced the grants during a groundbreaking ceremony of the future Doctora Olga Maria Martinez Senior Center in the West Kendall neighborhood of Miami. The Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers will receive $2 million to build the center.
"Senior centers play an essential role in the overall health and community involvement of Florida's older adults, who have given so much to our state and nation over the years," said Governor Crist. "These funds will help the centers provide even more opportunities for seniors to stay connected to their communities."
The new senior center in West Kendall, located at the southeast corner of Hammocks Boulevard (SW 150th Avenue) and 85th Street, will serve a total of 200 individuals daily. The center will include classrooms, activity rooms, a main gathering hall, a lunch meal site, an adult day care center, and staff office space.
The 2008 Legislature authorized the grants, recognizing that senior centers boost the social, physical and intellectual activity of Florida seniors. The grants, for amounts of up to $2 million each, will be used for new construction, repairs and maintenance at senior centers around the state. A similar round of grants totaling $9.1 million also was awarded during the 2007-08 fiscal year.
"One of the most important things we can do for Florida's seniors is to provide the means for them to stay active and involved in their communities," said Elder Affairs Secretary E. Douglas Beach. "These grants will make an important difference in the lives of countless older Floridians."
Senior centers receiving the state grants will be required to provide at least a 25-percent match, bringing the total value of the projects to a minimum of $12.5 million. In addition to construction of the three new senior centers, allowable expenditures include repairs and renovations for such items as ramps, automatic door openers, elevator controls, and fire or security systems, as well as major energy-related renovations such as lighting systems, roof repair and window replacement.
An estimated 380,000 seniors visit Florida's senior centers each year. The centers provide a place where older citizens can access a variety of recreational, health and social services, including nutritional meals, educational classes, and preventive health screenings. Florida's 240 centers provide a wide range of activities that enhance the daily lives of seniors and often extend beyond traditional programs and events.
Grants were awarded in three categories: less than $250,000; between $250,000 and $1 million; and between $1 million and $2 million. A list of the senior centers receiving grant awards for the 2008-09 fiscal year follows. More information on Florida's senior centers is available at http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/english/seniorcenter.php.
Category I - $0 to $250,000
Category 2 - $250,000 to $1,000,000
Category 3 - $1,000,000 to $2,000,000
For more information contact the Governor's Press Office, (850) 488-5394
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