$6.9M needed for Salisbury senior center

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By Deborah Gates
Staff Writer http://www.delmarvanow.com
SALISBURY — The first capital campaign in the 34-year history of the Lower Shore’s MAC Inc. was launched Monday to raise $6.9 million for a new Salisbury/Wicomico Senior Services Center for elderly programs.

A new facility would replace the 83-year-old former tuberculosis hospital on Riverside Drive at Pine Bluff Road from which MAC, since 1978, has administered services for Lower Shore seniors and housed programs for participants in Wicomico County.

The eight-month campaign comes as the region’s elderly population and demand for senior services continue upward, and as structural concerns mount at the aging Pine Bluff MAC Center, Margaret Peggy Bradford, MAC executive director, said Monday.

A planned 35,000-square foot-facility near the Holly Center on Snow Hill Road in Salisbury would triple in-house service capacity from 40 to 125 people and include an exercise, fitness and wellness center.

“Community needs are growing; people age 60 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the population,” Bradford said Monday. “We need to improve access for people with disabilities. This is an 83-year-old building with 83-year-old wiring, plumbing that’s 83 years old, and we can’t run our computer and air conditioning at the same time.”

A highlight, said Bradford, would be additional space for participants with Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments. “(Currently,) we can’t serve more than 10 people a day,” she said.

The current facility was donated, Bradford said, and the capital campaign is a first for the Maintenance of the Aged in the Community that started in 1972 serving residents age 60 and older in Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset counties. Meals on Wheels is among its popular programs.

At 10 a.m. Monday, state, county and city officials helped launch the campaign that to date has raised $3 million, Bradford said. Attending were Republican Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, R-38-Somerset, Delegate Norman Conway, D-38B-Wicomico, and Wicomico County Council members Stevie Prettyman and Tony Sarbanes.

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