Senior Center

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The Senior Center is nonprofit organization that seeks to create "opportunities for healthy aging" at its location on Pepsi Place. With over 100 regular programs and scores of community collaborations, the Center directly serves ~8,000 participants, with over 100,000 duplicated participant units each year. The organization is fund-raising for a new 60,000 square foot facility to be located in Belvedere. [1]

The director is Peter Thompson.


The University League - now the Junior League of Charlottesville -- established the center in 1960 in order to provide educational and enrichment activities for people over the age of 50. The facility was the second of its kind in Virginia and today is the longest continually operated senior center in Virginia.

The Senior Center first operated in rented space at 301 East Market Street before quickly moving to another rented space at 101 East High Street. In 1963, the agency became independent of the Junior League. In 1982, the Center moved into the Central Library on Market Street, a space it occupied until the Jessup family made space near their Pepsi Cola bottling facility available at half-price. The new 17,000 square foot facility on Pepsi Place opened on September 11, 1991.

In November 2002, the Senior Center became accredited by the National Institute of Senior Centers, the first such facility in Virginia to receive that designation[2]. It achieved accreditation again in 2007 and 2012 and is one of only six senior centers in America to have reached this standard three times. It received the International Council on Active Aging/NuStep Pinnacle Award in 2009 as America’s premier community center for all aspects of senior wellness; physical, intellectual, social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and vocational.

New facility search

Officials at the Senior Center have spent several years looking for a new home. One candidate was a building owned by ACAC that is the former home of the Charlottesville Day School. The Albemarle County Planning Commission granted a special-use permit for the Senior Center to occupy the space, though Center officials opted not to move there. [3]

In October 2012, Senior Center officials announced they would move into a new facility in the Belvedere development in Albemarle County. They said they hoped to raise $18 million over the next three years to build the $20 million facility. If built, the Center at Belvedere will contain an indoor walking track, a gymnasium, a library and an auditorium. [4]


By the fall of 2016, the construction cost estimate had increased to $23 million. [5] The Senior Center is asking for Charlottesville and Albemarle County to contribute $2 million each to the new facility. The Center plans to raise 80%of the necessary funds through private philanthropy and the sale of its Pepsi Place facility. The plans are to operate The Center at Belvedere without any local, state, or Federal funding as the Senior Center has operated throughout its history. Albemarle Supervisors were first publicly briefed on the center's request on March 9, 2016. [6] The item will likely be considered as part of the development of Albemarle's FY2018 budget. [7]

Board of Directors (2016-2017)


  • Kingfishers is a group of anglers that meets monthly to share tips and offer advice on fishing. They have a pond in Free Union that they maintain for members and guests. [8]


  1. Web. Senior Center planning for new home in Belvedere, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 12, 2016, retrieved December 29, 2016.
  2. "History of the Senior Center Inc." Welcome to the Senior Center. Web. 16 Dec. 2009. <>.
  3. Tubbs, Sean J. "Planning Commission approves potential new site for Senior Center; Charlottesville Day School would need new home." Charlottesville Tomorrow News Center. Web. 15 Dec. 2009. <>.
  4. Web. Senior Center unveils plans for new, larger facility, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, October 9, 2012, retrieved October 17, 2012.
  5. Web. City Council briefed on Senior Center capital request for new facility, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 20, 2016, retrieved December 22, 2016.
  6. Web. Senior Center begins campaign for public funding of new facility, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 13, 2016, retrieved December 31, 2016.
  7. Web. Albemarle planning commission gets first look at next capital budget, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 24, 2016, retrieved December 22, 2016.
  8. Web. Fishing Group / Kingfishers, Website, Senior Center Inc, retrieved October 6, 2017.

External links

Official site