'125 Live': What's up with the Rochester Senior Center's new name?
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday morning for Rochester's new senior center — to be called 125 Live.
The $25 million facility will be attached to the Rochester Recreation Center, which is undergoing renovations of its own. The joint facility will feature a new lobby, a warm lap pool and upgraded locker rooms.
According to 125 Live's new website:
The state-of-the-art facility will have the amenities and space needed to grow new and innovative programming. It will also enable us to develop multi-generational programs with the city’s parks and recreation department and host other community partners with an interest in enriching the lives of adults.
The senior center currently serves more than 1,500 members out of the downtown "castle" building. However, the facility is outdated and lacks adequate parking, accessibility and fitness amenities, according to Live 215.
The name of the facility references the center's new address at 125 Elton Hills Drive NW. Executive director Sally Gallagher told the Post-Bulletin that the new name reflects the center's vision of creating a more inclusive environment.
"We all know there's a stigma with the name Senior Center and with aging," she said. "Nobody likes to be called senior or old or elderly."
But reaction on social media has been anything but positive — with many people using words like "dumb" or "weird" to describe the new name.
One Facebook commenter wrote: "DisLike the name. Seniors are going be like, what you doing tonight? I'm going to 125 Live. Uhm the name doesn't sound right." Another said: "More work from the committee that thought 'Rah, Rah, Rochester' was a good idea?"
In addition to the new name, the senior center also announced a $2.8 million fundraising campaign for the project.
While the city's sales tax covers more than $20 million in construction and design costs, seniors are responsible for raising money for programming and equipment. Donors have the option of giving to a general fund or a specific project, like a fitness center or a billiards room.
Construction on the project began in May and is expected to be completed by fall of next year. Click here to learn more.
(Cover graphic: 125 Live)