New senior center opens Monday |

New senior center opens Monday

Aly Lawson
The William N. Pennington Life Center on South Maine Street is ready for occupying, including the bright and airy dining hall.

The new William N. Pennington Life Center at 952 S. Maine Street will open its doors to the public Monday including serving its first lunch and a special cake.

The lunchtime meal will be spaghetti with meat sauce, green beans, orange spinach salad, garlic bread, peaches and include a cake-cutting ceremony.

The cake is being made and donated by Cheryl Schershel, who will also serve it to visitors on the welcome day.

The center’s operating hours are still 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday) with meals served at 11:30 a.m. (soup typically at 11 a.m.) to 12:30 p.m. Age 60 and over have a suggested donation of $3 — under age 60, $6.

While the first meals are coming together, staff has also been busy with furniture deliveries and further settling in.

Life Center Executive Director Lisa Erquiaga said she’s “very excited” about moving in.

“But just like when you are moving personally, you don’t realize how much can be accumulated when you start packing,” she said, adding it can obviously be overwhelming. “But I have a great staff and community partners who have all stepped up to the task, and I am very grateful for all of their assistance.

“My staff and I will have a lot of training to participate in learning all the new systems and equipment in this new facility. But we are excited to experience ‘brand new.’”

Next week is also an opportunity to begin experiencing the center’s resources as well as to walk through the building at leisure including perusing the various rooms and features of the state-of-the-art facility. (Some moving in and training may still be in progress.)

The 16,000-square foot, $5 million facility will replace the smaller, 40-year-old, former senior center on Court Street.

The official life center dedication will be June 27 at 10:30 a.m. and includes a ribbon cutting, tours and a special lunch, which will also be packed up and served to Meals on Wheels participants so they can be part of the festivities. The Churchill County commissioners and other officials will be present at the dedication.