Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington set to reopen in limited capacity

Facility has been closed since March 2020

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
Bonnie Dallas Senior Center employee Betty Lewis works the drive-thru meal distribution site on June 3 at the Farmington facility. June 3 was the last day for drive-thru meals as the indoor dining room reopens on June 7.
  • The Bonnie Dallas Senior Center at 109 E. La Plata St. and 208 N. Wall Ave. in Farmington will reopen to limited operations on June 7.
  • The facility will start serving lunches indoors inside its dining room along with opening its billiards room and the dance hall next week.
  • Other activities like the Yoga and low impact fitness classes will return at a late date.

FARMINGTON — San Juan County seniors will have another option for activities soon as the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center is set to reopen after being closed for nearly a year and three months.

The senior center at 109 E. La Plata St. and 208 N. Wall Ave. in Farmington will reopen to limited operations on June 7.

The senior center has been closed since May 13, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Adult Program Manager Jack Lowery.

The facility closed alongside other City of Farmington facilities like the Sycamore Park Community Center, the Farmington Aquatic Center and the E3 Children’s Museum.

Lowery said it was important for the senior center to reopen in a safe and cautious manner, as senior citizens are among the group of people most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I will be doing it gradually, strategically and cautiously,” Lowery said.

It’s important for Lowery that those who typically visit the senior center take whatever precautions they need to feel safe, including possibly staying at home for the time being.

“There are people who are sufficiently scared who are vulnerable, who, you know, want to stay home,” Lowery said.

Bonnie Dallas Senior Center Adult Program Manager Jack Lowery talks about the changes to the billiard room operations on June 3 at the Farmington facility. The senior center reopens for limited operations on June 7.

The facility will start serving lunches in its dining room, along with opening its billiards room and the dance hall next week.

Lowery is happy to see the facility start to expand the operations to allow more seniors in the buildings.

Meals will be served in three separate shifts, with times starting at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The dining room has been split in half, so diners will eat on one side of the room as the other tables are sanitized.

The facility follows federal safety guidelines, allowing those who are fully vaccinated to not have to wear a face mask, while those who are not vaccinated are asked to wear a face mask.

The billiards room will have a schedule where a limited number of time of people can sign up to play in three, 60-minute sessions.

Those people will be assigned to one pool table, and each session will rotate between the three tables, allowing the equipment to be sanitized.

Line dancing classes will be limited to about 10 people on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those interested in line dancing are asked to call the Senior Center coordinator at 505-599-1380.

Other activities like the yoga and low-impact fitness classes will return at a later date. Other activities hosted in the activity center are expected to return in mid to late July, Lowery said. Those include Bible study groups, card playing and crafting groups.

The fitness center reopened in April and will maintain limited operations. There are currently six 45-minute sessions available for up to 12 people per session to use the equipment. The number of people per session will increase to 15 people soon, Lowery said.

There are 30-minute breaks between each session to allow employees to sanitize the equipment.

Lowery said the extra steps the facility takes to keep seniors safe are key to keeping the senior center from becoming a mass contamination site for COVID-19.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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