The Pickerington Senior Center, 150 Hereford Drive, was transformed into "party central" on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.

The Pickerington Senior Center, 150 Hereford Drive, was transformed into "party central" on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.

More than 150 people attended the center's "Member Appreciation Day" event accompanied by the music of the 3-C Highway Band.

Many folks took to the dance floor to chase the winter blahs away.

Out cutting a rug were Shirley Bowler and Bud DeLong, who met at the center about a year ago and have been a couple ever since.

This Valentine's Day was about getting out and celebrating their relationship amongst true friends.

"It's a great way to meet people and the music is good," Bowler said.

The couple can also be found playing cards at the center during the week.

"I play euchre, he plays bid euchre, but we don't play bridge or pinochle," Bowler said.

Anna Weber, a budding watercolorist who paints at the center, said she also comes for "the friendship."

"When you get older a lot of friends are gone or in some other city," Weber said.

Senior Center Director Nancy Lee said activities such as the Valentine's Day party give seniors a place to socialize in a great environment.

With a number of building improvements either completed or on the horizon, she said the center looks forward to serving the community for years to come.

Lee conducted a brief tour of the center's kitchen area to point out a number of improvements and upgrades.

"We just put a new floor down, new cupboards, new countertops and installed a new freezer and refrigerator," Lee said.

She said it's important to have a top flight facility because the Pickerington community utilizes it so much.

"We look like a modern kitchen now," Lee said.

"We rent the center for so many functions-weddings, retirement parties, graduation parties, and the Pickerington Chamber (of Commerce) has meetings here once a month," she said.

Violet Township Director of Operations Bill Yaple said the township's 2012 Senior Services levy helped pay for the kitchen improvements and will also pay for some future big ticket repairs as well.

"All the (funding) is coming from the levy," Yaple said.

"They also had to put in a ceiling and lighting and repainted the walls in the kitchen," he said.

Next up is a major roof installation in the spring or early summer, a project Yaple said will come with "a pretty hefty cost" in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $50,000.

"All the roof has to be torn off and re-shingled," he said.

Additionally, an air-conditioner system in the center's large meeting hall will need to be replaced at a projected cost of about $25,000 and a new sprinkler system will be added to the building's attic because the current one "is rusting out," Yaple said.

New vinyl siding will be installed on both the west and east side of the building as well.

The Pickerington Senior Center is approaching 30 years old, having been built in 1986.

"Like anything else, it needs maintenance once in awhile," Yaple said.

Senior Center member Shirley McKitrick said the facility has become a valuable resource for area seniors at a very reasonable price.

"We do monthly lunches, we play cards, it has a nice library, there's exercise classes, square dancing. It gives people a lot to do to to stay active for $12.50 a month," McKitrick said.

And most importantly, she said, "it keeps us out of trouble."

For more information about events and activities at the Pickerington Senior Center, call the office at 614-837-3020.