The STEP Inc. Board got a positive update on a new senior center in South Williamsport Monday.
Rachelle Abbott, director of planning, said the work on updating and improving a former state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Forest Service Building adjacent to the South Williamsport Park Complex "is going smoothly, everything is in place so far."
A sublease with South Williamsport Borough, which will continue to lease the property at the corner of Charles Street and East Central Avenue, has been submitted to the borough's solicitor, Abbott said, and Anthony H. Visco Jr. Architects has begun designing the new facilities.
Funding also is "good to go," said Chief Operating Officer Jim Plankenhorn.
Abbott said that a $150,000 grant submitted to the state Department of Aging has yet to be officially approved, but if it is, it would be used for maintaining activities at the center and other parts of STEP's Independent Living program.
"It would compliment what we have," Plankenhorn said.
The property has been vacant since 2010, when the Tiadaghton State Forest District moved to a new facility in Waterville.
The borough then negotiated a lease of the property with the department, in order to keep the adjoining land as open space - it can't be built upon as long as it is owned by the department - and eventually decided to pursue the idea of converting it into a new senior center.
The STEP Senior Center currently is in the basement of Messiah Lutheran Church in South Williamsport. The new center, to be named the RiverWalk Center, could see a groundbreaking ceremony by late June, Abbott said.
In other business, the board approved seven grant applications to fund several of STEP's Early Learning programs for the 2014-15 fiscal year, totaling more than $6.2 million.
The next board of directors meeting will be held at 6 p.m. June 16 at STEP Inc., 2138 Lincoln St.