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KAYSVILLE SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER OPENS

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"Come in. We are open finally." That's the message of a hand-lettered sign on the front door of the new senior citizens center in Kaysville. And, finally, the center is open. It isn't quite complete yet, but it is open.

Christened the Autumn Glow Senior Center, the 10,000-square-foot building began serving senior citizens from the central portion of the county a week ago. It joins a similar center in Clearfield and one in Bountiful, operated by the Davis Council on Aging.The Kaysville facility will cost an estimated $700,000 when finally complete. Of that, $590,000 came from federal grant money, about $35,000 from cities whose residents will be served by the center and the rest from private donations and other sources.

Of projects remaining, completing the kitchen is the top priority, according to center director Pat Seach. Meals are being served but the food is being prepared at other centers and brought in. The kitchen lacks a stove, dishwasher, garbage disposer and several other appliances.

But the center has other amenities that make up for that.

The billiards room has two tables, in use most of the time, and a third is expected. The arts and crafts room is in operation, offering ceramics and art classes and is being fitted for lapidary and silversmith work.

Adjacent to the dining area is a dance floor and stage, with a piano and organ.

The center's foyer is decorated with an oak fireplace mantel that dates back to the 1890s, rescued from the Brough home that housed the center's Kaysville predecessor, the Silver Age Center.

Furniture in the foyer was donated by area businesses and individuals, repaired and re-covered by volunteers.

Attendance has been good, Seach said, averaging more than 100 senior citizens a day since the center opened. As finishing touches are added to the facility, Seach expects use will increase.

The center has a separate glassed-in atrium for smokers, with a ventilation fan.

"Everyone knows smoking isn't good for you, but some of these folks have been smoking all their lives and they're not going to stop now," Seach said. "A separate smoking area was one of the top priorities on the survey forms we distributed.

"They're going to smoke and we can't very well send them outside to stand in a snowdrift in January," Seach said.

Like any new facility, a few bugs have turned up in the center. The wood dance floor has waves in it and all the windows were installed upside down.

"But we'll get it straighten out. We're working on it. At least we're open and being used," Seach said.