After 24 years there is a new face in the office of the New Britain Senior Center.
Rex Cone is the new director after Mike Karwan retired last month.
Cone started his career as the program coordinator at the parks and recreation department. He then went to New Haven as the recreation supervisor for 4 years and last April became the Manchester Senior Center Assistant Director.
When the job opened he said he felt it was a good match.
“Working in Manchester for a year and a half I learned to enjoy it (working with seniors),” said Cone. “I like providing programs and opportunities for them.”
Cone said his goal is to provide more programs such as exercise and yoga.
“The social program is already so great. It provides so many services for the people of New Britain,” he said. “The big thing now is to add on to that.”
Nothing at the senior center will be cut. The greenhouse should be done soon and new programs will come from that as well.
Cone hopes to work with the parks and recreation to help bring more programs to the seniors. Leaders in Training will do a lot of inter-generational programs.
“We want to get younger seniors (65-75) to do more activities,” Cone said. “I met a lot of people and they all seem happy to have me on board. Everyone has been supportive.”
Cone and his wife have lived in New Britain for seven years and he said he plans to stay here.
“I started here and I live here. I really do enjoy New Britain,” he said. “It’s nice to be back. I have a good feel for how New Britain works. This is a spot I will stay for quite a while.”
Cone has an open door policy and encourages seniors to come and meet him. He plans to give new members a guided tour of the building.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to meet people at the senior center. It is $3 for a lifetime membership if you are a resident,” Cone said. “I want to encourage people to come here. I am going to coordinate new member meetings so they get an idea of what we do and what we offer. This is a wonderful resource for people to meet other people and spend their time doing creative activities.”
Cone said those who retire and are looking for something to do should come on in.
“We have space and if people want to start a new club they should come in here for it. The space is provided by the City. We do charge for private corporations, but if you want to start a setback group, we can do it for you (at not charge) as long as we sponsor it during office hours (8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.),” Cone stated. “We have the space and we are here anyway so we want people to use it.”
Cone said he wants to be sure everyone knows the senior center is in New Britain at 55 Pearl St.
“We want to resurrect activity,” he added. “People can join the senior center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-3 p.m. We have exercise and zumba classes and more. People don’t know we are here to provide these things.”
A new updated website is also in the works. For more information call 860-826-3553.
(Look for a weekly message from Cone on the center in the City Journal coming soon.)