The front of the Highland County Senior Citizens Center is getting a face-lift after a June storm that damaged most of the large plate glass windows on the side of the building facing Muntz Street in Hillsboro.
Before the June 24 storm, seven windows measuring 6 feet by 7 feet, plus one smaller window, made up a large portion of the Muntz Street side of the building. Mechell Frost, executive director at the senior center, said she has been told that although some of the windows have been replaced in recent years, the building was constructed with the windows when Kroger opened there in 1959.
She said the June 24 storm completely blew out four of the seven large windows and damaged two others.
They are being replaced this week with a mix of four 4-foot by 4-foot windows and metal siding.
Frost said the large windows have been a cause of concern in the eight years she has been director of the center. She said in that time two of the large windows had to be replaced, one due to vandalism and the other due to weather, and the smaller front window also had to be replaced, but she is not sure what caused the damage.
“I’m pleased with how the building is going to look with the new windows,” Frost said. “It was time for them to be updated. The new windows will be more energy efficient and more safe, and it’s just a nice face-lift for the center. I think it looks sharp.”
When the storm rolled through in June, Highland County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Bushelman said the damage at the center was caused by a quick drop in atmospheric pressure. He said that according to the National Weather Service, straight line winds of up to 70 mph caused damage in other areas around the county that day.
But around the center there was little other noticeable damage other than a few small limbs down.
When the center’s windows blew out, they left glass piled on the floor of most of that side of the center. The glass was so thick near the windows that carpet had to be replaced in an area the center calls its “living room.”
“The carpet was completely saturated with glass pieces anywhere from teeny tiny to huge,” Frost said. “It was just too much. The carpet had to go.”
It has been replaced by floating plank wood floor, Frost said.
Besides the windows and carpet, Frost said the storm damaged or knocked several ceiling panels to the floor, some of the panel framing was bent, and power was knocked out to portions of the building. That included the freezers and refrigerators. The center was closed for a few days because of dust and debris, and the center’s Meals on Wheels program was canceled for at least a day.
Frost said the center’s insurance has covered the cost of the repairs.
This Saturday the center will host its annual Southern Hills Community Bank presents Cookies with Characters event, featuring at least 20 characters similar to those on popular children’s shows. There are three sessions starting at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and Frost said tickets are available for each one. Tickets are available at www.highlandseniors.com or at the door, but Frost said she could not guarantee that tickets will still be available for all three time slots the day of the event.
Call the center at 937-393-4745 for more information.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.