The residents at Henry Towers have been enjoying a light, airy activity room since November 2008.
"We just decided that what we needed to do was to create a space where the residents would be able to come down and meet, socialize and relax. We wanted a space that would be wide open, where they could come together and visit," said Tony Kulig, owner/manager of Henry Towers, 1000-2nd St. SE.
"There is another smaller space, the community room, that's pretty much just broken up into different areas making it difficult for them to get together and actually meet," he added.
Clockwise from left Marie Opp, Carol Dahlien, Tony Kulig, Harold Brown and Marie Reedy work on puzzles and enjoy some fellowship time in the activity room at Henry Towers.
The lunch program will continue in the smaller community room.
Work on the activity room project began in June 2008 and the room was ready for use later that year in November.
"Mackley Construction, the contractor, and all the good sub-contractors did a terrific job," Kulig said.
The activity room can easily accommodate up to 45 people and is set up to "attract" the residents. There are puzzles to put together at their leisure, shuffle- board and bumper pool to play. There's an area set aside for watching TV or movies and also a piano. The residents can also gather there to do crafts or attend a Bible study session. Another feature is the accessibility to an outside patio area.
The 24- by 52-foot activity room is also used when there are meetings with speakers and it is where Minot State University offers foot care.
The room has its own heating and air conditioning systems.
"That works quite well for the residents," Kulig said. "That way they can adjust the temperature for their needs."
The residents spend a lot of time in the room, he said.
"It's a good place for them to come to when they just want to get out of their apartment. In this building it's a different situation. They can get involved as much as they want with other residents or they can choose to spend their time alone in their apartment," he added.
When the residents visit the activity room they see a lot of other people they might not otherwise see if they were just walking from the elevator to the exit door.
"It was interesting to watch the residents as the room was being built," Kulig said. "The area was taped off and the people were watching as the room was being built. They even threw in their suggestions to the contractors," he added with a chuckle.
Residents can reserve the room for special family events like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
"They (the residents) are making pretty good use of it and we're happy with it," he said. "Before they would sit out in the hallway and visit. It was their only means of communication with other residents."
Carol Dahlien, who has been a resident at Henry Towers for only a month, said "I love it. It's really nice and comfortable. It's a good way to get together with other people. They even have people who come in and do foot care. It's where we pay rent. It's a good way to get to know everybody here. We can watch TV, do crafts, all kinds of stuff."
Mary Reedy has lived in Henry Towers since May 2008.
When the room was being added on "it was hot and messy but we enjoyed watching them (the workers) putting it together," Reedy said. "The workers were really nice people and they did a good job. We could watch them as they went around the room. They were really nice."
"We like it," Reedy said.
Marie Opp, who has lived in a Henry Towers apartment since 2005, said the room is really nice.
"Sometimes we bring Rummikub (a tile-based game for two to four players) or other games down at night and have a really good time. Life is whatever we make of it," Opp said.
"It's so nice to have a room like this."