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      Ground broken for new senior center on Society Street

      The Southwest Georgia Council on Aging along with representatives from the City of Albany and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital held a ground breaking ceremony Thursday morning for the Senior Life Enrichment Center project located at 335 Society Avenue in Albany, the former site of Byne Memorial Baptist School. Officials with SOWEGA say that the development of the new facility has been in the works for awhile and will allow the Council to additionally provide a broad scope of life-enhancing programs to seniors over 50 from the community.They say that their vision for the new center is to be a vibrant place where adults and the general public can come to socialize with friends, enjoy a great meal, and exercise their bodies and minds through fitness and educational programs.The facility will also be availble for the public to use.

      "People (will be) using it, leasing it, renting it, because we're going to have the biggest best meeting rooms, and commercial kitchen it Albany", said Kay Hind, the Executive Director for SOWEGA Council on Aging. Hind say's funding for the new center came from multiple sources, "we've had fun raisers, of course the congressman Sanford Bishop was successful in getting us some grants."

      The City of Albany even kicked in some SPLOST funds.

      The final cost will be between eight and nine million dollars.Current plans for the facility include a commercial kitchen, large dining room, fitness facility, computer lab, educational classrooms, social activity rooms, and a craft room. The center will also pose as the hub for all association offices serving 14 counties in Southwest Georgia.The current completion date is projected to be January 2014.