Magnolia Senior Center reopens for classes, Day Care remains closed

Programs were canceled last week due to water damage


The Magnolia Senior Center, located on the second floor of the Magnolia Day Care and Senior Community Center, reopened for senior classes on Monday, according to the city’s website. The center closed last week after a pipe broke and caused water damage in the building on Jan. 2, Department of Public Works Commissioner John Mirando said.

“There is still a great deal of snow out there, so if you are venturing out, please exercise extreme caution,” the post said.

Magnolia Day Care, located on the first floor of the building, remains closed until further notice due to a lack of heat.

The city posted a message on its website on Jan. 2 informing residents about the temporary closure.

“One of the fire sprinkler heads in the attic burst,” Mirando said, adding that the freezing temperatures of the cold snap caused the unexpected burst.

Mirando said the ceiling sustained most of the damage, and some of the ceiling tiles would need to be replaced. Employees from the Parks and Recreation and Beach Maintenance departments cleaned up the mess, he said.

“The tiles are fairly economical,” Mirando said. “I imagine the cost will be minimal.”

City spokesman Marvin McMoore said on Jan. 2 that the city is still receiving estimates on the repairs.

“The repairs are going on as we speak, and we’re trying to make every effort to get the building up and running,” Magnolia Center Director Johanna Mathieson-Ellmer said on Jan. 2.

McMoore said senior classes and day care programs were canceled last week.

“We love to have our programs running and serving the community, and people come to expect us to be here,” Mathieson-Ellmer said. “I don’t blame them when they’re not able to be here. We’re doing everything in our power to get things back and functional, and as safe as possible.”

In regards to the blizzard, Mathieson-Ellmer said her team at the Magnolia Center was preparing as usual by clearing walkways that would accumulate snow. She urged residents to “stay home and stay safe,” and to check the city’s website or Facebook page for updates.

“Our seniors are very smart, and they do not come out in this kind of weather,” she said. “And given that Thursday is calling for snow, I would expect that it’s not going to affect a great many people for this particular week.”

She also said that other spaces — like the Martin Luther King Center — could potentially serve as an alternative space where programs could be held, but that it probably would not come down to that.

“I’m going to make sure that I extend the invitation to come over here and do senior programs,” MLK Center Director James Hodge said.

Although the MLK Center hosts its own senior programs, in addition to a variety of other programs for people of all ages, Hodge said that the center is ultimately a city building that could be used as an alternative for the Magnolia Center.