Seniors from the Back Mountain greeted one another with excitement and hugs at the opening of the new Senior Center on Wednesday morning.
The new center, located in the Twin Stacks building in Dallas, has long been anticipated by the area seniors, many of whom have traveled to other center locations since March. The previous senior center closed earlier this year due to safety issues.
"It's the first thing everyone notices," said Doris Hughey, as she joked with other members about how level the floors are in the new center and explaining that the floors in the old center were warped and unsafe.
The center offers hot meals, activities and computer classes for seniors 60 years of age and older. But the members offer one another so much more. Ladies exchanged recipes and stories over coffee and greeting friends, some of whom they hadn't seen since the previous center closed.
"It's been a long haul for all of us to get here," said Trula Hollywood from the Area Agency on Aging, "but we are finally here."
Hollywood said it was expected that more than 30 meals would be served on opening day and many new attendees were expected.
Mary Lou Thompson from Dallas Township attended the opening. She attended the old center once or twice before its closing, but was not comfortable there. But she was pleased with the new location. "I'm glad they got out of there," she said of the former building that housed the senior center.
"We waited a long time for this," said Hughey.
Dallas resident Beverly Honeywell was very excited about the reopening of the center, saying it gives her the chance to get out of the house, something she looks forward to.
Member Claire Adams said it was hard to find the door of the new center because the Twin Stacks building is so big but added that the new location was beautiful.
Hollywood said the agency is working on getting a more noticeable marker for the door.
The new center will hold a grand opening at noon on Oct. 26 at noon. The event is open to the public.