City of Pittsburgh proposes to purchase senior center


Gage Goulding

The Highmark Building in Downtown Pittsburgh peaks out from behind the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Photo Date: March 29, 2019 Photo Credit: (RMU Sentry Media/Gage Goulding)

The City of Pittsburgh has proposed to purchase of the West End Healthy Active Living Center on 80 Wabash Street.

It is currently managed by the city through a $60,000 annual lease with Smith & Bowen according to the city’s website.

Under the new proposal, the building will continue to be a home for senior living. It is anticipated that within six years, the lease payments will pay off the property.

“The center has become an integral part of our community, including serving as a food distribution site during the middle of the pandemic,” Theresa Kail-Smith, City Council President, said.

The center serves hundreds of individuals and the weekly programming includes senior meals, instructor-led workshops, crocheting, painting, exercise activities and more. Over 12,000 grab-and-go meals have been served to seniors through the center since the start of the pandemic.

Not only food has been given out – through a program with Allegheny County, the center has distributed 70 free laptops and are currently hosting computer classes.

Over the next few years, renovations will be done to the building to improve life for the seniors living there. The West End Healthy Active Living Center already helps many in the area, and upgrading the current building and activities can make it even better.

“Expanded programming, access to additional services and a thriving community of senior members is what we hope to realize,” Louann Horan, Department of Parks and Recreation Assistant Director of Senior Programming, said. “Acquiring this property now allows us to think more creatively and strategically about delivering improved services and support to our seniors.”

If approved, the purchase will be made for $374,000. The City Council will be presented with the idea for approval this week.