Senior center turns 30

Thornton plans three-day celebration

Courtesy photo
More than 40 children visited the Thornton Senior Center Aug. 6 on grandkids’ day and participated in a Lego build, face painting, ate lunch and were serenaded by the Colorado Children’s Chorale. The Senior Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary with multiple events Aug. 20-22.
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A multi-day celebration is planned for the 30th anniversary of Thornton’s Senior Center.

An open house will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, with a buffet and entertainment by Queen City Jazz, an Adult Program Showcase set for 6:30 p.m. Thrusday, Aug. 21, and a dance planned at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, — all at 9471 Dorothy Blvd.

The center is the only senior center in the city — serving about 150 and 250 daily, about 2,500 members, according to Lisa Ranalli, senior citizen program manager.

“The center is a wonderful place to meet new people who share common interests,” she said. “Important services (there) include our daily meal program and transportation and recreational programs such as fitness, special events, classes, massage and podiatry care.”

In time for its anniversary celebration, the center just completed a $1.1 million renovation at the facility. The work included new carpet, new ceiling tiles, addition of handrails, new paint, improving the front and rear entrances to help with circulation throughout the building, remodeling the front desk and lobby area and creating a new corridor to improve the flow through the building from the west entrance to the front lobby,

The Senior Citizen Advisory Board felt it was important to update and modernize the facility because of its anniversary, Ranalli said.

Prior to being the Senior Center, the facility housed City Hall from 1956 to 1984.

“The flow through the building was congested and disruptive to programming and the board recommended this improvement,” she said.

The daily meal program, lectures, fitness classes and other adult programming take place in the center’s multipurpose space, which had been disrupted previously before the new corridor was created.

A majority of the improvements were funded with a $778,000 Adams County Open Space grant.

Ranalli predicts the membership of the center will continue to grow with each passing year.

“The 60-plus population is expected to more than double in the next 20 years, the center sees new folks every day,” she said.

The 11-member advisory board is currently updating its master plan for senior services, which includes goals for expanding facilities in the future.