After losing more than a year of funding due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ben Wilson Senior Activity Center in Warminster is getting a free technology upgrade worth up to $50,000.
Ray Cline, owner of Libertas Consulting LLC, announced last week the center was chosen out of about 30 applicants for the community improvement program tentatively titled Partnering to Give Back.
New security cameras, a sound system and an expanded wireless network will be among several improvements that could be coming once Libertas and the center hash out the details of the installation.
Cline said the center was selected by a national group of similar businesses called Low Voltage Nation and the Greater BucksMont Chamber of Commerce for the potential community impact the upgrades could bring.
Libertas, Low Voltage and the chamber began accepting applicants in April for the program aimed at helping local businesses or organizations that benefit the area in some form or another.
“We wanted to make sure that whoever received this was going to be a recipient that would pay it forward, so to speak,” Cline said last week.
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The center serves about 1,200 area seniors with activities and a place to eat, but had to close its doors when the coronavirus hit Pennsylvania last March.
The center still had to keep electricity going and the heat turned on to keep helping with the county’s meals-on-wheels program, but also hosted drive-through coronavirus testing, a community flu-clinic and held a senior health expo while it couldn’t open its doors.
Personal donations and eight outdoor health and entertainment community fundraisers have helped keep the center going, but it’s been a struggle to bounce back, the center wrote in its grant application.
At the time of the application, the center was also being considered as a Bucks County vaccination site.
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As far as paying it forward, the center’s application states it rents its halls out for various community programs, including blood drives, AARP senior tax services and a number of educational classes and seminars.
The improvements will effectively rewire the entire center, but Cline said it shouldn’t take more than a weekend to get done.
Companies from Low Voltage’s national network “from as far as Canada and California” will install or donate the new tech for the center, Cline added.