Chalk up another entry into the hall of “positive things that came about as a result of COVID.”
This latest came to fruition on Monday morning and was acknowledged by several dozen members of the community at a noontime celebration for a newly renovated classroom unveiled at the South Pasadena Senior Center. Technically, it was the renovation of two classrooms, which were adjoined and enlarged to form one large space at the southeast corner of the facility.
“When COVID hit and things started changing, we wanted to offer more classes, but with two smaller rooms we were limited,” said Sheila Pautsch, South Pasadena’s community services director, who was present at Monday’s ribbon-cutting.
The project included the removal of a wall that previously separated the two classrooms, the creation of a new foyer, electrical upgrades and a new thermostat and baseboard temperature control throughout the space as well as new paint and flooring. The upgrades cost approximately $40,000 and were paid for from funds collected through the Senior Citizen’s Foundation of South Pasadena.
Pautsch credited the project in great part to her predecessor, Liliana Torres, who explored the idea of conjoining the two classrooms before her retirement in February. It was Torres who envisioned the Senior Citizen Foundation in 2004 and helped it achieve 501(c)(3) nonprofit status in 2007.
Senior citizens use the room to play Mahjong and Canasta, take classes in Spanish, French and Italian and enjoy lectures, Pautsch noted.