Region 8 city taking bids for new senior citizens center/emergency shelter

TYRONZA, AR (KAIT) – The city of Tyronza is working to accept bids to construct a senior citizen center/emergency preparedness shelter on the corner of Main Street and Chickasaw Street. According to Mayor Marion Bearden, the facility could be constructed sometime within the next year.

"There's nowhere for our seniors to go and have kind of activities and be able to have a social life here in town," said Bearden.

According to Bearden, the facility will be an estimated four thousand square feet and will include a large kitchen area, multi-purpose room, media room and bathrooms with fully functional showers.

"We're going to have a large kitchen to be able to provide meals because it is going to be used as a shelter as well. We're going to have not only bathrooms, but shower facilities in the event that we do have to turn it into a shelter at some point," said Bearden.

The estimated cost of the project could be somewhere around $485,000. Bearden said the city will begin taking bids on the project within the next few weeks.

"It's been a long time coming. It takes a lot of paperwork, but we're really excited about it," said Bearden. "There's a very big need. We've got a lot of senior citizens that live here in town and we've got a lot of what we still call our citizens even in the surrounding area, the close vicinity that we expect to come in and utilize the center."

Bearden said the city is home to several senior citizens, and many of them live alone with nowhere else to turn when the power goes out to their home.

She said residents will also accept the building when it's complete.

"It's going to be a little unique. It's going to blend with the character of Tyronza," said Bearden. "This one will be owned and operated by the city. I'm not saying in the future we might not try to partner with St. Bernard's or other groups who might be could provide more for our senior citizens here but right now, it's going to be totally city owned."

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