Easels and paint pallets lined the tables of Sexton Hall Enrichment Center’s art studio, Scrabble boards and other table games set up in an adjacent room.
Fresh paneling added to the spaciousness of the modernized rooms, which will soon reopen to Forsyth County’s senior citizens.
On Friday, the county’s Senior Services Department held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand re-opening of Sexton Hall, which has been under construction for the last nine months.
“I can’t tell you the number of calls I got from certain senior citizens begging for improvements here at the center,” Board of Commissioners Chairman Todd Levent said. “Today, we officially welcome back Sexton Hall Enrichment Center to our Senior Services office.”
The south Forsyth Senior Center, which is located at 2115 Chloe Road, was first made possible in February 2008 after county residents voted to pass SPLOST VI — a local penny tax initiative — that expired in June 2013.
One of three senior facilities in the county, Sexton Hall’s expansion was much needed, said Ruthie Brew, director of Senior Services.
“The construction start date was July 25, 2016,” she said, “and the project included three phases of work. Phase one was the front exterior and entrance area. Phase two was the interior renovations and the auditorium and the multi-purpose room. We have a new servery — better known as the kitchen — for which to provide meals for our congregate and respite program.
“We have a new respite room; it’s a program for people who need memory support, so we have a safe place to do programming for them. Phase three, which is the fancy part, is the new addition in the back. It’s almost 3,500 feet of additional space and we have two multi-purpose rooms — one is going to be dedicated to art and one is dedicated to the congregate program.”
The respite program, which will be held on Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes lunch and activities for residents who need memory services.
Beginning May 9, the congregate program will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:10 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. and will offer lunch and four hours of activities including brain challenges, exercise, bingo, parties and trips.
Brew said Sexton Hall will offer transportation for those who can no longer drive.
The senior services department has provided similar programs at the Center at Charles Place near downtown Cumming, and the programs at Sexton Hall are meant to serve the south Forsyth community, something District 2 Commissioner Rick Swope, whose district the center falls in, said he welcomes.
“Forsyth County offers a lot of great amenities; we can take a long time listing those,” he said. “One of the best we have is a state-of-the-art parks and recreation system, an outstanding library system and an excellent school system. But the senior services are one that may not be as widely known perhaps as parks and rec, yet, but it’s certainly one that ought to be on that list.
“I’m glad we have passionate people continuously providing what I would call our ‘seasoned’ citizens with lots of interactions and friendships.”
For more information and the program schedule, visit forsythco.com/Departments-Offices/Senior-Services/Sexton-Hall.