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letter to the editor
Strang should move to Farragut

Most people are now aware that [Knox] County desires to sell Strang Senior Center in Lovell Heights and build a “super center” that would also serve the Karns and Cedar Bluff areas. Local seniors strongly oppose the move. Approximately 3,500 seniors attend the very popular Strang Senior Center every month and many (possibly the majority) are from within Farragut. The current senior center is overcrowded and the parking is inadequate, however it is essential that a senior center continue to be provided in this vicinity.

Perhaps the proposed community center in Farragut could serve a dual purpose as a senior center during the day and a community center in the late afternoon, evenings and weekends. At present Strang Senior Center opens at 8 a.m. in the morning and closes at 4 p.m. in the afternoon. The exception is one large room that remains open until 7 p.m. three days a week when an exercise class is provided for younger seniors who are still working. The senior center is always closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

How could a community center in Farragut be used to benefit everyone? For the majority of the year, our children in the Farragut area are attending school during the day and most of the adults are busy at their work places. If Farragut were to open a community center, it would, for the most part, sit idle during the day with few citizens available to take part in programs and activities. But if such a community center were to be used as a Knox County Senior Center during the week days and serve everyone else in the evenings and weekends, the building would be filled 100 percent of the time. The needs of the entire community could be met in one local facility. What a blessing that would be!

Of course, this would call for real cooperation between the [Farragut] and County officials. But both could benefit if they would work together. The County would not have to purchase land and build a building — millions of dollars in savings! The County would have to carry financial responsibility for their share of upkeep and insurance and continue to pay for senior center personnel, but they are already doing that now in Strang Senior Center. The city of Farragut would be providing a facility with a proven program available for area seniors and have Knox County to help share the financial burden of their community center. This really could work for the benefit of everyone. It’s certainly worth consideration and may be the answer to a “full service” community center in Farragut.

And wouldn’t the [former] Food City be a great building for such a joint venture?

Jean Coleman



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