Hickory woman suggests expanding senior center

By Jessie Molloy

A Hickory Hills resident told the City Council last week she is concerned about the limited capacity of the city's senior center.

The Hickory Hills Senior Center allows a limited number of people to attend weekly meetings and programs because of the building's low capacity, Constance Nestor said at the City Council's meeting on Dec. 13. All seniors are welcome to attend trips and outings with the group, but the waiting list for a full membership to the center is about 40 people deep, Nestor claimed. People on the waiting list may feel excluded or miss out on the camaraderie involved in being a regularly attending member, she added.

Nestor suggested the center offer full membership for everyone and create a rotating schedule of members who would take turns skipping meetings so others can attend, and bandied about the or the possibility of expanding the center or double-scheduling events so more people can take part.

Hickory Hills Mayor Howley said he sympathizes with Nestor's complaint, but told her expanding the building is not possible for financial reasons. The city will consider the possibility of a rotating schedule, he added.

Howley and city Building Commissioner John Moirano said it would be possible to expanding the building's main meeting room by knocking down an interior wall, so long as the wall is not load-bearing and it the project would not be overly costly. Aldermen expressed interest in exploring the possibility, which would increase the room's capacity by about 30 people.