Sept. 3, 2013 Christian Murray
Sunnyside Community Services announced Friday that it’s renovating its senior center following a $2.6 million allocation by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer as part of the city’s 2014 budget.
The funds will be spent on upgrading the organization’s second floor, a huge space that is not only above the 43-31 39th Street ground-floor center—but goes all the way over to Queens Blvd (above the New York Sports Club and Deals discount store).
The community center is well known to residents. It’s ground floor is used for public meetings, social events as well as a gathering place for seniors. However, upstairs is the Sunnyside Community Services’ engine room, which is far less visible.
The second floor is used by Sunnyside Community Services to provide adult day care for seniors, who suffer from diseases such as dementia; to train home health aides; and provide office space for case managers/home care monitors.
However, the second floor is in worn out condition compared to the first floor level. Furthermore, it does not meet the objectives of SCS, an organization with a $52 million budget, which is continually expanding.
Currently, SCS provides 53,000 hours of health and home care services each week to 1,500 home bound residents of Western Queens. The agency serves 15,000 people annually.
“The second floor is filled with long winding corridors,” said Judy Zangwill, the director of SCS. Furthermore, she said, its layout is very inefficient.
The renovation, which is scheduled to start in 2014, will involve knocking down a number of walls to increase the amount of space the organization can use.
SCS anticipates that it will be able to serve an additional 20 seniors as part of its adult day care program (double the current number) since the amount of usable space will increase. With additional room, SCS will be able to train twice as many home health aides; while the case management services work stations will be upgraded.
The 2nd floor reception area will be overhauled. Furthermore, the funds will also be used for new flooring, fixtures and equipment throughout the floor.
“I look forward watching this institution thrive for years to come,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “There is nothing more important than providing valuable resources and programming for our City’s seniors.”