With a recent land donation from Civista Bank, the Urbana-Champaign County Senior Center will be able to relocate to a new facility.
The bank donated 2.2 acres to the Senior Center.
The new building has not been completed yet, but having plans to build one means “absolutely everything,” said Stacy Barnhart, executive director of the Urbana-Champaign County Senior Center.
The new facility will be more convenient for Champaign County seniors, which make up about 25 percent of the county population, according to Barnhart.
Barnhart described the current facility as challenging for seniors. It is a multi-level building, and the center is located on the upper floor, Barnhart said. That makes navigating the building difficult for seniors, according to Barnhart.
“It is very difficult for our seniors to utilize those steps and the ramps,” Barnhart said. “Even if you have a walker, it is still very, very difficult for all these people to come to our center.”
The center’s current space is also about 7,000 square feet, and its membership has grown considerably since Barnhart started as executive director, she said. The new facility, on the other hand, will offer about 9,990 square feet, according to Barnhart.
With the upcoming expansion, Barnhart estimates that future membership will increase about 25 percent with the space available in the new facility.
Before they donated the land to the Senior Center, Civista Bank had considered doing something with it for a while.
“We wanted to see what we could do to help the community grow, expand, and improve its services,” said Greg Knight, commercial lender and assistant vice president for Civista Bank in Urbana.
Knight said he is honored to, “help Urbana grow and expand and just improve what we offer our community.”