PIC reception desk

To the Editor:

After reading your editorial “council should quit its meddling ways” in your Jan. 18 edition, the Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition feels it is important to share with you and your readers some information you may not have known.

We at PIC feel the City Council is rather more diligent than meddling. The Intergenerational Center is an important project and the engagement of council members on behalf of their constituents is both expected and appreciated.

The council is responding to a concern that was raised by a group of Plymouth senior citizens who recently toured the center. They were disappointed to see that there wasn’t a reception desk to welcome seniors visiting the Plymouth Adult Community Center (PACC). As you know, most of the cost of the new center is being paid by donations from the community, and these community members felt it was imperative that there be a reception desk at the PACC entrance.

In the original design of the center, there was a window into the PACC assistant’s office located adjacent to the dedicated PACC entrance. (This same design was used in the child-care area.) The purpose of the window was to offer seniors a reception area where they could sign in and get assistance near the entrance most of them will use – a direct entrance to the PACC part of the center with level parking nearby.

The PACC director chose to omit the reception window so that the office would offer more privacy, with volunteer receptionists greeting PACC guests at the main entrance reception desk, which is 160 feet from the PACC entrance. Community members, alderpersons and PIC representative were all concerned that this option would not offer the guest service or the security that we were striving for in the center. A proposal to have a PACC receptionist at a table in the hallway by the PACC entrance was presented, but the fire marshal ruled that the hallway be kept clear.

The PACC director favored keeping the PACC receptionist at the main entrance reception desk to avoid the cost of installing the window and the loss of a private office. A majority of alderpersons, PIC and community members, on the other hand, felt that installing the reception window at the PACC entry would be money well spent:

• A dedicated PACC reception desk makes the facility easier to use, inviting more frequent visits, and enjoyment by seniors.

• A dedicated PACC reception desk allows us to monitor arrivals and departures through the PACC entry and makes the center more secure. All other entrances to the center are either locked or monitored by volunteers during hours of operation.

• The PIC receptionist is perfectly happy to greet and direct those PACC guests who happen to arrive through the main entry thereby ensuring both entrances have a greeter.

We feel that the council’s decision to support the requested changes of restoring the window and reception desk at the PACC entry is a good one; it will lead to better service, greater use and more security at the exciting new Intergenerational Center.

Martha Laning, PIC executive director, and the PIC Executive Committee


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