Buchanan Area Senior Center raising funds to convert porch into sunroom

Published 11:30 am Friday, September 17, 2021

BUCHANAN — A local organization is raising funds to allow itself to grow and better care for area seniors.

The Buchanan Area Senior Center is currently raising funds to convert its porch into an enclosed sunroom. According to Adam Burck, executive director, converting the porch will provide additional space for center programming, as well as light and natural ventilation.

“We have a covered porch, and when the organization thought of expansion, that was one area we thought that was one place we could expand more,” he said. “With COVID, we realized we needed more separate indoor spaces, particularly with natural ventilation. We decided to make this a priority.”
The converted porch will add between 700 and 800 square feet of space for the senior center to utilize. Burck said it would be used for everything from exercise classes to card games and more.

Once completed, the space will be named after Russell Stephens, a long-time board member who had dreamed to expand the facility by enclosing the porch. Stephens died in December of last year. He was 70 years old.

“He was the person who originally thought of expanding,” Burck said. “He was our board president for years and was kind of the push behind this.”

The senior center began fundraising for the project a few weeks ago, and already Burck estimates the center has raised nearly $20,000. Though architecture estimates are still being completed, Burke expects the total cost of enclosing the porch to be between $100,000 and $200,000.

“Patrons who come here are excited about it, and can’t wait to see it happen,” Burck said. “Everyone wants to have their program in there. There is a lot of interest.”

The project is still in the early stages, but Burck is hopeful that it can be completed in 2022. Until then, he said community members can donate to the project to help make the center’s dream — and Stephen’s dream — a reality.

“We are here to care for our senior citizens, and this is an important place for them,” Burck said of the Buchanan Area Senior Center. “This will add more options for people and add more programs with a lot more space.”

Community members wanting to donate to the project can do so by mailing or delivering donations to 810 Rynearson St., Buchanan, or by visiting the center’s website at thebasc.org.