Friday, July 07, 2017

TOP STORY >> Cabot senior center opens

By DEBORAH HORN Leader staff writer

Cabot officials and the Lonoke County Council on Aging are throwing the doors open wide to the recently renovated Cabot Senior Citizens Center at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony after which tours of the facility. Refreshments will be served.

Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert and Lonoke County Council on Aging executive director Buster Lackey encourage the public to attend.

“Come see the new center, meet the staff and visit with the seniors,” Cypert said.

The mayor said that he is pleased with the senior center’s renovations, and the members and staff he has talked with are happy with the new $240,000 facility as well.

Cypert said because of the county’s large senior population, it was important to Cabot to better address their needs.

“I don’t believe the services seniors needed were being met. We’ve worked to change that. We’ve raised the bar,” he said.

He was referring to the efforts the city and the Lonoke County Council on Aging have made over the last year, such as improving the quality of the meals served, availability of transportation, a facility upgrade and a new director.

“All our arrangements are working well,” Cypert said.

The seniors’ new facility is actually the city’s old public library at 506 N. Grant St., which was located next door to the city’s original senior center.

After months of renovations, Lackey said about the new facility, “It’s a great space…Our members are excited, and we’re ready to get moved in.”

The new 8,600-square-foot facility more than doubles their old space, and it includes a main common room, six offices, and conference, activity and media rooms.

Lackey said the new center means members will not have to share areas when doing activities.

Cypert said the facility isn’t just for Cabot seniors but welcomes anyone over the age of 60 from the surrounding area, including Ward and Austin residents. Hot, home-cooked meals are served five days a week.

The renovations were done in two phases, and with the completion of the first, Cypert said, the second phase began soon after. The center includes a commercial kitchen and a dining room that can seat about 100.

Phase I cost the city about $115,000, and Cypert said he expects Phase II to cost about $125,000.

The architectural plans for the remodel were designed by North Little Rock architecture firm Clements and Associates Architecture. Floyd Parker Construction of Benton was the contractor.

The old seniors center at 600 N. Grant St. will be turned into an events center, with the profits partly financing the new seniors center, Cypert said.

Cabot gives the seniors center about $50,000 annually for the operation and maintenance of the facilities.

The Lonoke County Council on Aging is headquartered at the Betty Fort Senior Center in Lonoke, with other senior centers in Carlisle and England, and Des Arc in Prairie County.

For more information about the Cabot Senior Citizens Center, call 501-843-2196 or visit