NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For years, people have gathered at Norfolk’s Ocean View Senior Center to socialize — and much more.
Last year, 10 On Your Side reported that seniors were upset after the City of Norfolk announced they would need to move the center so the land could be used for apartments.
In April, seniors protested outside the city courthouse voicing their concerns about the move. Fast forward to 2019 and 10 On Your Side followed up with the seniors to see how the new location is working out.
Kathy Rose says she’s adjusting.
“I think it’s a serious adjustment period and we have a lot of things we are trying to get worked in,” said Rose.
The original center was once located on East Ocean View Avenue and is now located at the East Ocean View Community Center on 20th Bay Street. Seniors have only been in the center for about three weeks, and with anything new, there are some kinks that need to be worked out, they say.
Some changes include the fact that the seniors are now sharing the space (at certain times) with youth. Several seniors say parking is an issue, the sound system doesn’t work properly and they are waiting for a full kitchen to be installed, so they can continue their Meals On Wheels program.
Special Report: Seniors Stuck in Limbo
“We don’t have transportation to get here like we had before and a lot of people who used to come on the senior citizens van, they can’t come anymore,” said Anna Norkus. “Hopefully, everything will work out.”
Judy Oer is the 2nd vice president of the 60 Plus Club. Oer says there is no available property in the area for the city to purchase another center, so the seniors opted to go this area.
“The city was good enough to give it us, I feel there is not enough room in here for us, compared to the old building,” Oer said. “They could put an extension on this building.”
10 On Your Side reached out to Norfolk City Spokeswoman Lori Crouch after hearing from the seniors.
Crouch writes in part:
Staff has met with the advisory committee several times and those members are aware of the renovations that were done prior to the seniors arrival in early December and the future work that is planned. Pinewell Station is planned for the area where the former senior center was located.
Seniors say while they are working out the kinks, they are optimistic and appreciative of the staff who are working on making this place feel like home.
The former senior center land will be turned into the Pinewell Station Apartments, which includes 145 apartments.