CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. – After six months of construction, the new Live Oak Senior Center is set to open this coming Monday.
The building of the new $1.5 million center on Foothill Boulevard began last September, and this week the county is wrapping up final inspections, with the old center next door demolished on Wednesday.
Live Oak Senior Center Executive Director Pat Grabham said the center has been closed for about a week in preparation for the switch to the new building.
On Monday, seniors will be welcomed back to have their first meal in the new center, she said.
“It's going to be a lot of fun,” she said, adding, “Our seniors are champing at the bit to get back here and have a good lunch.”
Eric Seely, deputy county administrative officer for special projects, said county fire and building officials have completed inspections on the building, with mechanical and electrical engineers inspecting the building on Thursday.
Lake County Environmental Health will conduct one final inspection on Friday and then the county will issue the certificate of occupancy, Seely said.
He said the construction costs for the 4,000-square-foot building have remained pretty much on budget, and the project was completed within the estimated construction timeframe thanks to good weather over the last several months.
“This was a nice, uneventful, smooth project,” said Seely, who also is overseeing other major county projects, including the Lucerne Hotel renovation and, soon, the renovation of the Gard Street School property in Kelseyville, which will be the new home of Child Support Services.
Chico-based Randy Hill Construction is the Live Oak Senior Center project's general contractor. Seely said local subcontractors including Dynamic Construction – which did framing and finishing work – and Totorica Fire Protection, which had the sprinkler contract, were involved.
Seely said the project planning started several years ago when the county still had a redevelopment agency. The county applied for Community Block Grant Funding for the center, but was unsuccessful.
“Then we just started saving money until we had sufficient funds to go to construction,” Seely said.
Grabham, who has been the center's executive director for 17 years, said of the new center, “It's been a long time coming.”
The newer, bigger and better designed center not only will offer seniors a comfortable time to gather and socialize, but will continue to be a community meeting place, Grabham said.
She said the Live Oak Senior Center serves an average of 80 to 100 meals a day on site and 30 to 35 meals daily through its Meals on Wheels program.
Grabham said she is seeing an increase in the need for services for seniors, and she hopes more people will take advantage of the larger senior center, including coming in for the congregate meals.
The center sends a bus out to Spring Valley, Glenhaven and other outlying areas around Clearlake Oaks in order to bring the seniors in for the daily meals, she said. Usually it takes more than one bus load to bring in all of the seniors who want to take part.
Seniors usually arrive around 10:30 a.m., enjoy time visiting, then have lunch and play cards afterward, leaving at around 1 p.m., Grabham said.
That daily socialization is “really important,” Grabham said.
Grabham said the Live Oak Senior Center doesn't compete with other centers around the lake. “We just all need to work together.”
One last part of the work remains, which is the construction of the parking lot where the old senior center building had stood.
Seely said that work will be completed during the first part of May.
Grabham and Seely said a dedication for the new senior center will be announced in the near future.
Email Elizabeth Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.