Senior Center provides glimpse of new space


MIDDLEPORT — As the Meigs County Council on Aging continues work to renovate the former Middleport High School/Meigs Junior High, agency staff took the opportunity on Thursday to show the completed work and the vision for what remains to be completed.

Agency staff hosted a cookout for seniors from around the county, before taking them on tours of the future home of the Senior Center.

Much of the work at the building has been completed by agency staff, who have been volunteering their time in the evenings, and other volunteers.

Any contract work, such as plastering which was taking place on Thursday in the auditorium, is being paid for by grants, donations and earned money.

Director Beth Shaver emphasized that tax dollars and program funds are not being used for the construction project. The upcoming tax levy on the November ballot is also not connected to the project, and funds from the levy cannot be spent on the construction.

As work continues in the auditorium and the future cafeteria, banquet room and kitchen, rooms such as the wellness center and game rooms are nearly complete.

John Matson explained that the wellness center, which will include three rooms, will have two exercise rooms with equipment, as well as a weight room. In addition, an outdoor fitness area is also being constructed outside the wellness center area. Plans are also in place to convert a former girls restroom across from the wellness center rooms into two separate shower areas, one for men and one for women.

The game rooms, adult day care area and many other parts of the building will be decorated in 1960s decor. Shaver explained that studies have shown decorating areas with items that related to the younger years of individuals lives can benefit those with dementia.

The game areas have whiskey barrel furniture, couches and items which would have been common in such areas in the 1960s. The rooms will serve as a place for seniors to visit, play games and spend time together.

As you make your way around the first floor of the large building, there are small seating areas spread throughout the hallways. Shaver explained that with the additional space in the building seniors may get tired as they go from one area to another or simply wish to take a break before they go to their next activity. These areas provide a place for that.

Once the center is open, rooms such as the banquet hall and meeting space will be available for the public and other agencies to utilize.

The catering which is currently in place at the Senior Center will be able to expand in the new location, having a large storage area in which to keep items when not in use.

In addition to the main kitchen, a cafe area will be set up with an indoor and outdoor seating area.

One of the biggest benefits to the new location, besides the extra space, is the flat parking area with plenty of space. Shaver said that with the center initially opened in the 1980s at its current location parking was not a problem as the majority of those attending meals and events arrived through transportation. Now, the majority drive.

This will also be the first time the Senior Center has had a large lawn in which to host activities, such as the cook out on Thursday.

While the first floor will be dedicated to areas for seniors and others in the community, the second floor will include office space, a training area and conference room.

Shaver said that the goal is to be in the new location in the fall of 2018, possibly around Halloween, although it is contingent on may steps in the renovation process and inspections.

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The future home of the Meigs County Council on Aging (Senior Center) remains under construction, but the progress is becoming evident in rooms such as the game room, arts and crafts area and the wellness center where work is nearly completed.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_Senior-Center-1.jpgThe future home of the Meigs County Council on Aging (Senior Center) remains under construction, but the progress is becoming evident in rooms such as the game room, arts and crafts area and the wellness center where work is nearly completed.

On Thursday, the Council on Aging hosted a picnic and tours of its future building with around 60 seniors attending for lunch and the tour.
http://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2017/09/web1_Senior-Center-2.jpgOn Thursday, the Council on Aging hosted a picnic and tours of its future building with around 60 seniors attending for lunch and the tour.

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.