Catherine Hilton: Make space for Amherst seniors by moving the Civil War tablets

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Building a new senior center is a terrific idea, but those of us who use the Bangs Center’s services now — or try to — need action sooner, and it’s obvious to us how more space can be freed up. It’s simple: the Civil War tablets should be moved from the Pole Room.

Not long before the pandemic, a beautiful new floor was installed in that room to make it safe for senior dance and exercise classes. With classes interrupted, the room was opportunistically seized for the exhibit. Fair enough.

Now that we are able to meet again, we need that room back. Line dance for seniors now meets in the big room on the main floor on Monday mornings — except for the many Monday holidays. We don’t really mind sharing the space with big tables used for packing senior meals to go. But we can’t imagine that the good-natured young lady working behind a desk in that room is not inconvenienced by our loud music and shouted instructions.

It’s not fair to Amherst-area seniors to be deprived of the classes that provide much-needed exercise and socializing, and it’s not fair to the tablets to be “exhibited” in an obscure corner of the Bangs Center. They should have a permanent exhibit, on a wall, in a visible spot, and we should have the use of our dance studio.

Catherine Hilton