Seymour Community Center upgrades underway


The Seymour Community Center is receiving a facelift.

It has been 11 years since the front of the building was updated with new windows, masonry and paint using a Community Development Block Grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. Now, work is being done on the inside.

In late January, city parks and recreation employees painted over the outdated wood paneling on both the first and second floors with white paint, making the rooms much brighter. They also painted the cabinets and walls in the kitchen, added new handles on the cabinets and drawers and installed a food prep table.

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Handicap-accessible toilets are being installed in the restrooms, too, as the city continues to make efforts to improve its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The next step is adding new carpet to replace the old, stained carpet. The center will shut down from March 16 to 20 while that work is being done by Carpet Gallery in Seymour, said Parks and Recreation Director Stacy Findley.

During the same time, the senior citizens bus will be off the road for general maintenance and repairs to fix leaking windows.

Findley estimated the total cost of the community center project to be around $16,000.

“Park operations staff will do all the work, except installing the flooring, which is keeping costs down,” she said. “It was relatively inexpensive, especially with total square footage downstairs being 3,000 square feet.”

The parks department is paying for about half of the cost with the other half coming from the Seniors 107 Club and donations, she said. The Seniors 107 Club is a nonprofit organization aimed at increasing activity and recreation among seniors who use the center almost daily to socialize, play cards or bingo and eat lunch.

The upstairs area is utilized for weekly exercise and dance classes and dog obedience classes.

Findley said the department is currently seeking funding to purchase new tables and chairs for the main room that are lighter and easier to move around.

“They are heavy to move, and the space needs to be multipurpose,” Findley said.

That’s because the center also is rented out in the evenings and on weekends for birthday parties, bridal and baby showers, anniversaries, reunions and other private events.

The current rental price is $100 with a $50 refundable deposit. That price is set for 2020 but could change in the future.

“The decision of pricing is not mine alone to determine,” Findley said. “The parks board will be part of the conversation. I like that the price is affordable for all users, as it is truly a community space. I wouldn’t want cost to be a barrier.”

Findley said with the upgrades, she expects the number of rentals to increase.

The facility is an asset to the community, Findley said.

“It is a warm space in the heart of downtown Seymour,” she said. “It is important to make investments in this facility and the individuals who use this facility. I want the focus of those who use the facility to be on the relationships and memories made there.”

In order to attract more people to the community center and target a different age group for programming, the department has added a new children’s monthly storytime called Kids Corner.

Each session will be conducted on one Thursday a month upstairs in the community center and feature a story, craft and snack. The cost is $5 for children ages 2 to 5 with a limit of 10 children. Parents can register online at or call 812-522-6420.

The first one will be Feb. 27 and feature the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” For the schedule of future Kids Corner events, visit the City of Seymour Parks and Recreation on Facebook.

“Traditionally, Seymour Parks and Recreation has been athletic-focused,” Findley said. “However, parks departments have an obligation to provide to the community as a whole.”

Findley said one of her goals is to have activities, facilities and parks that resonate with all age groups.

“This will be an ongoing effort to help tie everyone to Seymour Parks and Recreation in some way,” she said. “Our five-year master plan process will help to identify additional needs and gaps.”

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