New Senior and Community Center Still on Drawing Board
By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune
K’ima:w Medical Center’s plan to construct a new Senior Nutrition and Community Center got the green light from community members during a public hearing sponsored by the Hoopa Valley Tribe on Thursday, Feb. 7.
The project will apply for an $825,000 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Indian Community Development Block Grant (HUD-ICDBG) to replace the nearly century-old wooden Senior Nutrition building in Hoopa.
Norma McAdams said, “That place is going to go. It was built in 1917.”
The new center will have more room, which is needed to serve the expanding population of seniors in the Hoopa Valley as the bulk of the Baby Boomers start to enter their mid-sixties.
Frances McDaniel, a former senior resource director for the Hoopa Valley Tribe, said that based on her projections, the local senior population will more than double in the next fifteen years.
“In April 2012, we had 284 seniors in the valley,” McDaniel said. “In five years we’ll have over 350, in ten years we’ll have over 480, and by 2026 we’ll have at least 623.”
The Downtown Beautification Project will be delayed at least another year, but the Interim Roads Department Director Loren Norton said he wants the council and the community be thinking about downtown.
“Willow Creek is an excellent example of downtown beautification,” Norton said. “You can see the little businesses that have sprung up.”
Norton said Cal Trans has already set aside funding and is scheduled to widen Highway 96 near downtown, and will add streetlights and traffic crossings in 2015.
This is part of a larger project to improve downtown Hoopa, with plans calling for sidewalks, curbs, watered lawns, trees, and other improvements.
“It was broken up into five construction phases,” Norton said. “The plans were already worked out by the previous administration. All the legwork is done, and I’m just stepping in and carrying that ball.”