ROSEBORO — Carolyn Simpson has not walked the halls of Charles E. Perry School in a long time. But she’s been spending a lot of time there lately with fellow senior citizens.
“It brings back memories because this is the school I used to attend when I was young,” Simpson said about her days of an eighth grade student.
For many months, Simpson enjoyed fellowship at the town’s community building with other members of the Roseboro Nutrition Site. But that all changed because of termite problems with the structure. The seniors are now using the school on Boone Street after the Sampson County Board of Commissioners accepted a lease agreement between the Sampson County Board of Education. It began Sept. 22 and will continue through Feb. 28, 2017.
It’s only been a week, but she’s already missing the building on West Railroad Street.
“I thank God that we are here now,” Simpson said Thursday. “Hopefully we’ll be back in the building.”
Simpson is one of about 30 people who visit the center during the week for meals provided by the Sampson County Department of Aging.
“It’s a good thing for senior citizens to have somewhere to come,” Simpson said. “We learn a lot here.”
Some of those lessons involve health and spiritual guidance. Under the leadership of Site Manager Gilbert Owens, the nutrition site is responsible for serving 60 people in the program. More than 1,000 meals are delivered each month.
“It was a hassle and it was very frustrating,” Owens said. “We haven’t completely moved everything.”
According to Owens, their assigned classroom is a little better because of more space and a bigger kitchen.
“From a food standpoint it’s much better,” Owens said. “The seniors are a little upset because we don’t have a TV in here because they love to watch ‘Family Feud.’”
Owens was grateful for Sampson County Schools, Board Chairman Telfair Simpson, Superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy and Micheal Warren, director of the Charles E. Perry building.
“They’re very helpful and supportive of what we do here,” Owens said.
Feeling the same sentiments as the seniors, Owens hasn’t got used to the school.
“We do know that we’ll be here until the end of the year,” Owens said. “We have no guarantees for next year and particularly when school is out for the summer. We just hope the Town of Roseboro continues to support the seniors as they have done in the past by repairing that building.”
Eventually, the group plans to move back into the original location when the improvements are made.
“We’re just happy to have somewhere to meet and have somewhere for the senior citizens to get together,” Owens said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.