Adult day care set to open in October

Published 1:13 pm Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There is finally light at the end of the tunnel for the long-awaited Don and Betsy Freeman Adult Day Care Center.

Polk County commissioners Monday tentatively set the new facility’s grand opening for Sunday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m. The date could change if invited guests are unable to attend that day.

Commissioners expressed their relief Monday that the center is finally nearing the end of construction after months of delays. The most recent delay occurred in the spring when paving could not be done because of rain.

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Construction began on the covered canopy this week and graveling has been completed. Once the canopy is complete, paving can be done, which will complete the construction project.

As you know, weve been long awaiting the opening of the Don and Betsy Freeman Adult Day Care Center, said commissioner Warren Watson, who was the board member credited with seeing the project through. Work on the canopy began today and grading is complete waiting for paving.

Watson added that a plaque has been ordered and suggested the county provide signage and landscaping in front of the building.

The grand opening will include light refreshments and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The actual opening date of the center has not yet been set and will likely be determined by the process of obtaining a permit for the facility.

Commissioners have been working to provide an adult day care center for some time. One of the options looked at initially was using a facility already set up in Green Creek. After deliberations, the county decided to renovate the rear building of the Meeting Place Senior Center, located off Skyuka Road at the former Carolina Classical School property, which the county now owns.

The county contracted with Rutherford Life Services, which operates a similar facility in Rutherford County, to run the facility, with the county agreeing to provide the building.

Renovations have included showers and handicapped accessible bathrooms, a sprinkler system, parking, paving and a covered canopy. County officials said on Monday that Rutherford Life Services is planning gardens onsite for its clients and has applied for a grant for other landscaping.

Commissioner Cindy Walker said there have been some bumps along the road, but she is proud of the board for its perseverance in seeing the project through.

It has been a long path to get this adult day care, Walker said. Warren Watson kind of led the charge on this. There were some obstacles.

She mentioned that the county had to change its zoning to allow the adult day care center in that location, and there have also been unexpected renovation costs. The county was not expecting to have to install a sprinkler system nor to be required to have a wider road into the facility.

Some of the costs will be covered by a $25,000 grant the county received earlier this year.

Im glad were here, Walker said. Sometimes we have to pay more, but we kept working to get it done. Im proud of your efforts.

Commissioners decided to name the facility after Don and Betsy Freeman in recognition of Betsy Freemans efforts to get an adult day care center in Polk County. Don Freeman, who had needed the services of an adult day care center for years, died during the renovation project.