Hermiston’s new senior center will officially open on Sept. 8.
The city and senior center board are hosting a dedication celebration of the Harkenrider Center on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the festival street at the corner of Northeast Second Street and Gladys Avenue. The event will include a ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m., and tickets for a barbecue that day are available at the Hermiston Community Center.
Hermiston Parks and Recreation director Larry Fetter said finishing touches on landscaping and painting the parking lot are underway, while the spacious new kitchen is being outfitted with more than $100,000 worth of equipment that the seniors raised funds for.
“That’s what they used to equip the kitchen, and it is spectacular,” he said.
Since the former senior center on Orchard Avenue was demolished along with most of the old fairgrounds last September, the seniors have been having their community meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church’s parish hall. Once the Harkenrider Center opens meals will be moved there, along with activities old and new. Fetter said a slate of new activities for seniors are featured in the parks department’s fall recreation guide, and there are plans for even more new activities and trips next year.
“They’ve got some expanded programs they’re going to do,” he said. “They’re going to do a monthly newsletter, and take it up a few notches from what they were doing.”
As part of the landscaping and new parking lot behind the Hermiston Public Library that will complement the Harkenrider Center, the Kiwanis Club helped get grant funding to add walkway lighting and LED lighting on the old Union High School/Armand Larive Middle School arch, which will also see some new landscaping and an interpretive panel explaining the history of the schools that sat on the site over the course of Hermiston’s history.
Fetter said a flag pole will be resurrected where the school’s old flag pole sat, and it will mark a time capsule that the city plans to seal up for the Sept. 8 dedication and open in 50 years.
Mark Rose, Hermiston Public Library’s head librarian, is heading up the time capsule effort, and items can be dropped off at the library for consideration until Sept. 5.
Contact Jade McDowell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4536.