Kanawha Valley Senior Services Executive Director Paulette Justice has announced that the agency serving Kanawha County’s senior population is moving to a new, consolidated location.
Currently located at the Tiskelwah Senior Center (the former Tiskelwah Elementary School) site at 600 Florida St. on Charleston’s West Side and at 2428 Kanawha Blvd., E., the KVSS offices are in the process of being transferred to a new headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in Charleston.
“In May, we closed the deal on our new, leased facility at 1710 Pennsylvania Ave., close to the remodeled West Virginia American Water Company,” Justice said. “We will be remodeling throughout the summer and hope to move the main office in August, the Tiskelwah building next, and the CANS Nutrition Program after that.”
Justice said that sneak peeks at the new digs are not allowed just yet, however; visitors are not permitted at the new facility during the ongoing construction phase, due to liability issues. “After the building renovations are completed,” she said, “we will hold an open house so you can see the new Kanawha Valley Senior Services.
“Until then, we will be packing and moving and getting things back to ‘the new normal,’” she said.
Justice said KVSS officials have been seeking a new location ever since she became its executive director eight years ago — and possibly longer than that.
“We started looking for a building to combine both programs into one location for better communication and less overhead costs,” she explained last week. “We looked at hundreds of sites over the years We had, most recently, looked at the CAMC Lighthouse Building in Kanawha City, but that fell through.”
The new KVSS facility will encompass 14,500 square feet on the top floor of the two-story building off the Westmoreland Road Interstate 79 exit, she said.
“All of the programs will continue in one location instead of two, and there’s lots of parking. Our congregate food program probably has the same amount of space, but it will not have asbestos and other issues that go with old buildings.
“It’s all remodeled. We received a lot of donations for equipment and new furniture in the dining area. We’re very fortunate to have the use of different grants I’ve written to.
“There’s a nice space for the Adult Day Program, and there’s a deck in the back of the building to make a sunroom. That will be wonderful for Alzheimer’s patients; there are windows all around. If they have Sundowner’s Syndrome or dementia, it may be able to help with its natural sunlight.”
Justice said the Pennsylvania Avenue site will also feature new kitchen equipment. “Our CANS Program stove only partially worked. It was probably 30 or more years old, and now we’ll have a new stove.”
Other new equipment will include a walk-in refrigerator and a walk-in freezer.
“All in all, we’re excited about it,” Justice said.
To maintain the safety of its senior clientele, their caretakers, and other visitors, Kanawha Valley Senior Services will not be opening group activities at the Tiskelwah location through at least the remainder of July. Grab and Go meals, home-delivered meals, transportation and in-home care services are still being offered.
“However, our Adult Day Program will not be reopened until the congregate meal program is reopened, pending the blessing of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services,” said Justice.
The executive director also commended the KVSS staff members who have been visiting seniors’ homes and delivering meals since COVID-19 concerns arose, calling them “our KVSS heroes.” “We are so grateful for their commitment to ensuring our senior citizens in Kanawha County receive needed support during this difficult time,” she said.
Justice also thanked Jen Mason and Mary Nicholas for providing handmade masks for KVSS staff members and others during the pandemic.
For more information about services and their status, call KVSS at 304-348-0707.