Knoxville (WVLT) - South Knoxville seniors have new place to call their own. Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and members of the County Commission cut the ribbon for the new South Knox Senior Center Tuesday afternoon.
It's part of the county's No Senior Left Behind initiative.
The center will offer recreational and educational opportunities for any adult over 50.
But as Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy explains, the centers also help seniors on the ball with their life's passions.
Senior Joyce Hutchinson doesn't just enjoy painting.
"I love it,” she says.
And without the Frank R. Stang Senior Center in West Knoxville, "I probably wouldn't be doing this. I should be, but I probably wouldn't be."
For the last nine months, it's been a weekly visit for art and exercise. "We're not professional, but we like to paint and don't want to have a whole lot of pressure."
With the number of Senior Citizens expected to double in the next 20 years.
"One of the biggest goals of my administration is that no senior be overlooked or left behind,” says Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale.
And Tuesday, Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale cut the ribbon for the newest Senior Center to help him do just that.
"I think it's a place we can get together and learn new things,” says Knox County resident Debbie Loposser.
The South Knox Senior Center joins the list of five others scattered throughout the county.
"By placing senior centers in strategic locations across our community, it provides access to all of our seniors,” says Ragsdale.
The big eye-catcher, an indoor swimming pool.
Even soon-to-be seniors say this 6,500 square foot hang-out couldn't come soon enough.
"We've been watching it about a year before it was even started. We wondered when it was going to get started, and when it did it went really quick. It's been really exciting,” Loposser says.
Ragsdale says it's all about saying thank you. "Seniors are our country's greatest generation and we want to do everything we can to make their golden years enjoyable."
Back in West Knoxville, Hutchison's all packed up. "I'm ready to go."
At least until next week, when she'll be back. "I found it late, but I'm glad I did."
To keep going strong.
County officials spoke with seniors about what they wanted in the center before construction began.
As part of the no senior left behind effort, a new East Tennessee veteran’s nursing home also opened this fall.