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Thayne Senior Center focuses on expanded facility 

As part of an on-going fundraiser, the Thayne Senior Center provided the servers for the Rotary Club’s Annual Oktoberfest Dinner, at the Star Valley Ranch Resort Sept. 2. The Thayne Senior Center serving team included, left: Sherry Clemow, Monte Clemow, Holly Armstrong, DiAnna Prati, Gary Carvalho and Richard Prati. All funds raised are dedicated to the proposed Lower Valley Human Resource Facility. SVI PHOTO/DAN DOCKSTADER

• New facility would address Lower Valley senior growth. 

Addressing the continued growth in the Lower Valley, the Thayne Senior Center Board of Directors has been working on a project that includes a larger facility located on new land near the Thayne Elementary School.  It’s called the Lower Valley Human Resource Facility.

“We’re putting together a new facility to help seniors here in the community at large,” Melinda Pebbles, center director said of a current building now serving the Star Valley Narrows, Star Valley Ranch, Etna, Freedom and Alpine, at a base location in Thayne.

“We are in need of more space for the senior center and all of the services that we provide,” Pebbles explained in an interview on the SVI Media Weekday Wake Up program, broadcast on SWIFT 98.7 FM and the SPUR, 107.5/106.3 FM.

Speaking of the daily lunches, she added, “A lot of times we’ll have a line clear out the door and around the corner. That’s one of our main issues, with the  lack of kitchen space and storage.”

With the proposed building changes would be additional services focused on the valley’s senior population.

“We are looking for a facility that would allow for more services, such as medical services, emergency preparedness, physical activities and the basics for the seniors in the [Lower Valley] community,” she said. “And, hopefully the community will use it for meeting space.”

Pebbles said the first step will be to take care of the expenses with the facility’s property. “Our main goal is pay off the land that  was purchased by the elementary school. We have seven acres there to put a facility on.”

The Senior Center has been exploring funding options. “We have been looking at different places for funding and revenue,” she explained. “We are looking at a Senior Services tax district since the Legislature changed that. We can use that for capital construction projects.”

In recent years Pebbles, along with her directors said they have seen the changes coming.

“Everyday you come in here you see someone new, a new senior for the valley.”

An artist rendering of what would be the Lower Valley Human Resource Facility.

She continued, “The senior population here and in Wyoming is just growing. Everyone is seeing that. Especially the senior population.”

Their funding work has taken them to different sources. “We have looked at a few things in the past that haven’t come to fruition. We’re just out there looking for revenue sources, grants, matching funds and donors.”

She added, “If anyone is willing to donate, right now a large donation would help us get going. “

Pebbles acknowledged a current fundraiser effort. “We have a program we’re running right now for our seniors or anyone in the community, called the ‘grand gang.’ We’re trying to get a 150 people to donate a $1,000 or a grand to help us finish paying off that lot. We’re close.”

Speaking for the board, Pebbles concluded, “Obviously we are doing this from the bottom of our hearts. We really want to help the seniors and the senior community.

“There are lot’s of services we could offer and we’re just needing the space to be able to do that.

“Just to see the senior population grow and thrive [is important]. We really want to make a big impact on this community.

“I think this facility is the start of something great and fabulous for the Lower Valley. “

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