By Amanda Oskey
From the outside, the Price Senior Center looks like an old church, but on the inside it is so much more.
Nearly ten years and $500,000 worth of remodeling and renovation has transformed the once-rundown First Christian Church into an active community. The center is used for weddings, performances, luncheons, and any type of class you can imagine, from quilting to yoga.
There is still more work to be done, and unfortunately, no funds to pay for it. Although the lower level is currently being utilized, the entire second floor is in need of renovation. In addition to new floors, cabinets, paint, and decor, an additional $8,000 is needed for an air conditioning unit. Those items are costly, but don’t come close to the near $80,000 needed for the elevator.
Ronnie and Marie Jager currently run the Price Senior Center. They began the renovation process in 1999 after a five year fight with the city.
“They wanted to tear it down,” said Ronnie Jager, “But we saw the potential.”
The building was given to the city by H.Y. Price Jr., the owner of the San Marcos Telephone Company, now CenturyTel. Price specified the building was to be used by youth or senior citizens. Shortly after the city received the building, Price died, leaving the city confused as to what to with the rundown space.
“We blocked purchase offers and talked them out of destroying it. After 5 years, the city decided to lease it to us,” said Mr. Jager.
After the Jagers got the go ahead from the city, they began contemplating how begin the renovation of such a huge project.
“I do a lot of the work myself,” said Mr. Jager, “But we had lots of donations and volunteers from all over come to help.”
The first part of the project began with funds received in an unlikely manner, with the help of some Hollywood money.
“There was a knock at the door, and it was a film maker,” said Marie Jager, “He asked to rent our home for three days and gave us $4,500,” said Marie Jager.
The Jagers live in the historic district of San Marcos in beautifully renovated two story white home.
“They were looking for a house that looked like a funeral parlor to have Martin Sheen lay in a casket,” laughed Mrs. Jager.
The film was The Texas Funeral starring Martin Sheen.
After the initial donation, the money and volunteers started showing up, including $80,000 from the McCoy family and $15,000 from CenturyTel.
But now, the money is gone and new funds are needed to finish what was started almost ten years ago.
“We don’t know exactly how much we need. I haven’t looked into a lot of the pricing because we just don’t have the money,” said Mr. Jager.
The original building, the First Christian Church was built in 1893. It is one of three oldest and original churches still standing today.
Other additions were added throughout the years including the 1910 room, now used as a reception or a multipurpose hall.
€The Price Senior Center rooms are utilized for events of all types. One of the rooms nearly destroyed by fire in the 1980’s, is now a Tea Room open three days a week. Lunch is served Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Master Chef Joyce Kidd prepares the meals.
“People from all over the world come to eat here,” said Mrs. Jager, “It really is a special place.”
For more information about the Price Senior Center, call 392-2900 or stop by for a visit at 222 W. San Antonio St.Email | Print