Major renovations and new amenities completed at the Pleasanton Senior Center were unveiled to the public Tuesday.
Closed two weeks for intense repairs, the center's new features and design alterations aim to enhance the center that many local seniors call their home away home.
"When the seniors walk in, I think they'll be delighted," said Raymond Figueroa, the center's recreation coordinator. "They'll enjoy the change of colors and new features. The place will feel warmer with the new aesthetics. The center is already known for its warm staff and now that aspect is enhanced. This is one of the premier centers of Alameda County."
Figueroa managed the logistics of the recent maintenance work at the senior center, which is located at 5353 Sunol Blvd. and offers a variety of activities and services to seniors in the community.
Constructed in 1993, the center was overdue for a carpet replacement and other renovations, according to the city's lead build maintenance worker Thomas Fullam, who along with senior center office assistant Debbie Peterson created the grand vision for the reinvented center.
The center was closed from June 23 to July 7 for the makeover that included brighter color schemes, new light fixtures, tiled flooring, and a repainted exterior and interior.
The center converted to brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights in hallways and other areas throughout. The accent trussing along the ceiling was modified to 65 LED lights, which use less power and highlight architectural features.
The carpeting of the main lobby was removed and replaced with new flooring made from environmentally friendly, post-recycled materials. Old carpeting that laced the entrance room to the main hall, a central gathering area that generates heavy traffic, was completely removed and replaced with tile.
Fullam said he wanted to utilize the widely popular entrance space more efficiently and create a welcoming environment with square tile floors instead of carpet. The old carpet would get dirty often, so the designers had durability and user maintenance in mind when designing the new floor.
Fullam wanted to do an extensive facelift and prolong the life of the building in a functional manner. He said although he couldn't make changes everywhere, he still feels this was a significant upgrade.
"Seniors are the jewels of this town, and we hope they appreciate the new center made for them," Fullam said. "We look forward to seeing them."
In the main hall, aside from freshly repainted white walls, there are user-friendly fabric bulletin boards that replaced the odorous and stained boards from 1993. The work crew tore out the old panels and added tiled, fabric paneling, chosen for its ease with cleaning, visually pleasing pattern and soundproof properties.
To better utilize existing space, an unused room was turned into a dedicated computer lab stocked with laptops donated from Friends of Pleasanton Senior Center. The lab is expected to provide seniors with accessibility to computers as well as computer classes. Lab space is shared with VIP Travel Club, a service provider that offers day- or week-long travel options.
"Efficient use of space was a huge factor in redesigning the interior of the center," Figueroa said.
An area at the rear of the center where the original computer desk was stationed was transformed into a coffee and bistro center with a library. Seniors can peruse magazines and current periodicals provided by Assistance League of Amador Valley or eat a snack in the cafe-style seating arrangement.
The gates that enclose the facility were redone with a high-gloss black finish. Figueroa feels that the new look is visually appealing from the outside. Lamps and others poles spanning the exterior of the center, untouched since 1993, were also repainted.
Figueroa said the center is also introducing a significant change in the lunch program. Partnered with Open Heart Kitchen, the new lunch program -- called Sage Cafe -- began serving meals this week, and there is a formal grand opening set for September. For $3, the lunch comes with a main entree and a salad bar option, a service that is new for the center.
"Residents should feel proud that the city recognizes the senior population and supports senior programs," Figueroa said.