West Jefferson senior center moving to new spot

Messenger photo by Josephine Birdsell
Sherry Hook, president of the Jeffersonian Senior Center in West Jefferson, stands outside what will be the center’s new home as of Aug. 1.

(Posted July 7, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

The Jeffersonian Senior Center is moving to a new location on Aug. 1.

Since 1985, the center has occupied space at West Jefferson’s village hall at 28 E. Main St. The village plans to move its building and zoning offices into that space.

The center is moving into the building at 174 E. Main St., formerly occupied by West Jefferson Plumbing & Heating. The village purchased the property when the plumbing and heating business moved to a new location.

“We are excited about getting here,” said Sherry Hook, senior center president.

The village is leasing the property to the senior center for $1 per year.

The space at the new location is comparable to the amount of space the center had at village hall, said Virginia Miller, who directs the center’s food distribution program. But it does have some benefits, she said.

For instance, a locked facility behind the building will allow the center to operate the food distribution program in a separate location from the center’s other services, meeting federal program guidelines. And the location has larger doors that will allow center workers to move pallets of food in and out of the building easily, without unloading and reloading items.

The senior center is planning to host a grand opening celebration in August after they are moved in and settled, Hook said.

They also plan to host a garage sale in the coming month to get rid of items they won’t move to the new location, such as dishes and Christmas decorations.

Most of the center’s regular activities, such as Bingo nights and euchre nights, are on hold due to COVID-19. But the center is holding distanced monthly meetings and operating the food distribution program.

When the center last distributed food in May, turnout was high for eligible seniors in the area. Miller expects a similar turnout at the next distribution, set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 24. Members of the Ohio National Guard will assist with passing out food. The program is open to anyone age 60 or older who lives in Madison County and whose income is 130 percent or more below the Federal Income Poverty Line.

“We work really well as a community,” Hook said.

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