Friends Center undergoing renovations

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

January 4, 2013

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) has temporally closed the Friends Center to give the facility a face lift.

According to coordinator of the SOMC Friends Center Kim Evens, its been about 10 years since any renovations have been done to the center.

She said as a part of the current renovations crews, “are installing new carpeting, a new dance floor, new stage flooring and we are also getting new paint throughout the entire facility,” Evens said. “We think these renovations will enhance the experience of our consumers that use the friends center. When it’s all finished it’s going to look so much better.”

Evens said the center is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 11, after the renovations are complete.

She said in 2012, the Friends Center was used for 740 times.

“We have collapsible walls so the space can be divided into three rooms. So, it’s easy to say a single room can be used three times in a day and that how we get so many usages in a year,” Evens said. “It’s not just SOMC that hosts events here, there are wedding receptions and many other events like the annual Trojan and Pirate Treasure, Bid Your Heart Out and many proms. This facility gets a lot of great use in the community.”

She said the demand for the facility is so great that, they for the most part, do not have a free weekend in 2013.

“Unfortunately there is not enough space to accommodate everyone. I’m turning away wedding reception requests at least once a week, if not more often,” Evens said. “We tend to book about a year in advance. It’s unfortunate that everyone is calling because I do not have weekend dates for their wedding reception. Weekdays tend to be more available than weekends.”

She said scheduling for 2014 is about to begin.

When asked why there is such a demand for use of the facility Evens said, “we are one of the only facilities that can house a large number of people. There are other facilities in town but, once a group reaches about 250 we’re one of the only facilities that can house that amount. The maximum amount of people we can house at one time is 630, however we typically do not set over 500.”

She said some of the bigger annual events hosted at the SOMC Friends Center include the annual SOMC Winter Wonderland, Bid Your Heart Out, Pirate and Trojan Treasure and the annual Baseball Banquet.

The SOMC Friends Center is located at 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth next to the Life Center.

For more information about the SOMC Friends Center call Evens at 740-356-6160.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.