Thelma Albertson feels like she and her group of dancers are starting from scratch after losing their favorite Arlington dance spot.
The group waited for more than two years to return to Arlington’s Eunice Activity Center. The city building was known for robust programming for older adults, spacious event center and its hardwood floor. Like other venues, it closed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next year, the deadly February 2021 winter freeze damaged the building.
Albertson and her group waited as one delay after another moved their return date. They found other dance halls, though none offered the same size or rates.
“Every year, it was, ‘OK, it’s going to be completed the end of spring. OK, the end of summer, the first of fall, the end of the year,’” Albertson said. “Every year, we got that.”
Finally, the group learned in March they would never return. Contractors found infrastructural problems in the activity center. Repairs and updates required to put the building in compliance with city code would have totaled around $2 million—more than half of the building’s value.