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LifeSpan comes to former Rite Aid site in Olympia Shopping Center

| Saturday, March 2, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
LifeSpan coordinator/assistant Tom Schnieder and volunteer Justin Prolenski sit down for a cup of coffee in Checker’s Café located in the new Mon Valley Olympia Community Resource Center. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Volunteer Dianne McMahon sews in the sewing room at the new LifeSpan center in Versailles. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
LifeSpan maintenance aide Bobo McCaskill, left, kitchen aide Steven Rutledge and center services regional manager Michelle Craven test out the equipment at LifeSpan’s new Mon Valley Olympia Community Resource Center’s exercise area. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
LifeSpan fiscal accountant Ericca Fries, left, puts finishing touches on the pool table at the new LifeSpan center in Versailles as she talks to regional assistant/information and assistance specialist Marcy Wasilko. Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News

LifeSpan's Mon Valley @ Olympia Community Resource Center will have its grand opening on Monday.

The organization's senior citizen participants have been peeking in the windows in recent months trying to get a glimpse of the new 9,600-square foot facility that will open at 9 a.m. in the former Rite Aid location in Olympia Shopping Center.

“They peer through the windows daily,” said Kim Rollinson, LifeSpan community services operations director.

“They cannot wait for this center to open,” added Michelle Craven, center services regional manager.

Opening week activities include blood pressure screenings, Ask the Nurse, Nintendo Wii demonstrations, exercise classes, line-dancing demonstrations, Carnegie Library of McKeesport presentations and book club referrals, a visit from Three Rivers Hospice and Family Health Home Service therapy dog Anastasia, bingo, karaoke, The Boston Shoppes World of Tea presentation and walking club information. For a schedule, stop by the grand opening or call 412-664-5434.

The reception area will provide information on monthly activities.

The facility has a sewing room for quilters, computer lab for individuals 60 and older, television room, lending library, conference room, stationary exercise equipment room with lockers and an open exercise room both with a flat screen television, kitchen and dining room, and a ceramics art room with two kilns.

It will have an information-and-assistance-certified specialist to help with various senior citizen resource information and a legal aide available once a month.

A daily lunch provided by Nutrition Inc. will be available in conjunction with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services Area Agency on Aging. Checker's Café, an independent entity of LifeSpan, offers light healthy lunches and snacks within the senior center.

The senior center has a Wi-Fi Café for participants to bring laptops while having coffee, a snack or meal.

“Wii is so popular,” Craven said. “It's a hot trend with the seniors.”

She said LifeSpan has a Wii Bowling Team that competes with other seniors and local police and fire organizations. Their next challenge will be Versailles Volunteer Fire Department.

LifeSpan can register seniors for Older Persons Transportation Access.

Craven and Rollinson said LifeSpan's senior centers are beneficial to older adults.

“It keeps them healthier longer,” Craven said. “Statistics show active seniors live longer and they stay in their homes longer. The exercise courses that we do offer help with bone structure, balance, Alzheimer's, blood pressure and cholesterol.”

The exercise programs include yoga, Pilates, core strengthening, line dancing and the outdoor walking club geared for senior citizens.

“We do a lot of educational speakers and informational speakers who keep them up on diabetes prevention, health screenings and pharmacy medications,” Rollinson added.

They also pointed out the new Versailles location's proximity to the Olympia Shopping Center's variety of stores.

Senior center participants also take day trips, including a monthly visit to Rivers Casino.

LifeSpan merged its Mon Valley Resource Center in McKeesport and Community Resource Center in the Boston section of Elizabeth Township into the new Versailles location to provide the quality and variety of services to more seniors. The Boston site closed on Aug. 31 and the McKeesport site ceased operations on Feb. 15.

More than 200 senior citizens attended the two facilities.

The new location has ample free parking and is served by Port Authority Bus Routes No. 60 Crawford and P76 Lincoln Highway Flyer. Senior citizens registered with Older Persons Transportation Access can use their e-purse account that charges $1 each way to visit any Allegheny County senior center.

LifeSpan membership is $10 per year for individuals age 60 and older and $25 per year for those ages 50-59. It includes various benefits. Tours are available.

Senior citizens interested in signing up for a LifeSpan membership should attend the grand opening or call 412-664-5434.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or

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