NENANA — From being the meeting place for the city council and other groups, to hosting birthday parties and holiday meals, the cramped Nenana Senior Center has a lot of use.
With the donation of a land from Crowley Petroleum, the center hopes to one day build a larger center that will serve many purposes, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
“We’ve kind of outgrown this property,” the center’s executive director, Vickie Moyle, said of the building in the middle of town that has been in use for about three decades.
“We’ve had to do a lot of things to make the building a little better,” said Nancy Shaw, one of the center’s board members. “But it’s still an old building.”
Crowley Petroleum on Wednesday donated 2.8 acres of land, a site Moyle one day will be home to a new, more spacious senior center.
Her dream is that the building would also have an activity room and enough space for members of the community to use the hall for holiday meals, and not make them eat in shifts.
Crowley has several unused property sites in Nenana, and has tried to sell them, said Endil Moore, a Crowley employee who is also a member of the senior center’s board.
The land that was ultimately donated had sat on the market for two years, with no buyers.
Moyle and Moore thought the vacant property would be ideal for a new senior center.
Crowley began looking at donating the property, but waited another year to see if a buyer came forward.
When that didn’t happen, the paperwork process began for the transfer of the deed.
“This hasn’t just happened overnight,” Moyle said. “This has been going on for a long time.”
The donated land is located on Eighth Street, next door to the Meda Lords living home where many seniors live, meaning they could walk to the center instead of taking a shuttle like they do now.
“This is more than a worthy cause to donate the property to,” said Sean Thomas, an Anchorage-based vice president with Crowley. “Hopefully, it will facilitate the needs of the community members from here on into the future.”
The next step is securing funding for a new senior center, beyond the sale of pull tabs, which paid for a garage. Officials are applying for grants and are approaching local businesses and organizations.
“I don’t think we can build a whole new center with pull tab money. I think we’ll have to look for some other funding,” Shaw said.