In many respects, it's not unlike a lot of the buildings in Coquitlam's burgeoning City Centre - there are the bricks and mortar, the ambient noise of nearby construction and the odd parking snafu.
But it's what happens within the walls of the Glen Pine Pavilion that separates it from almost any other facility in the city.
It's a place where life-long friendships are made, new skills are honed and a second home is found.
In light of the pavilion's recent fifth anniversary, staff and a handful of advisory board members shared their feelings on the building that promotes all things 50-plus.
"I love the place," said Coquitlam's Dorothy Brovold, 86.
"You can go there and sit down with your friends and have lunch, or have a cup of coffee. It's a very friendly place.
"Everybody seems to have a good time there."
The pavilion officially opened its doors to the public on Jan. 8, 2008, and has become a hotbed of activities for adults of all ages.
Most of the seniors who once called the Pinetree Community Centre home made the move over to Glen Pine when it opened.
The pavilion takes its name from the two major streets in its immediate vicinity - Glen Drive and Pinetree Way.
"You really get programming that's designed to enrich the lives of our residents," said Mayor Richard Stewart.
"You see it on the faces of the members, the value that they place in having some place to go."
There are the tangible benefits of going there - taking computer classes, for example - or the chance to engage in some leisurely sporting activities. The facility is equipped with a computer lab, a lounge, a library and a full fitness centre.
"I'm still active," said Tony Bragg, 83.
"I participate in most games and I've made so many friends. Really, it's made me feel younger. Being in a group like this, in a senior's centre group, is the best thing."
But more than anything else, it gives people an opportunity to remain engaged and stimulated in their later years.
"That's probably the key thing to me," said Helga Ovington, supervisor of senior services at Glen Pine.
"You want to be independent and you don't want to rely on your family so much, so you want to have peers and you want to have fun.
"This is a great place to come and meet friends and meet new people. You really can keep your brain stimulated."
Part of Ovington's role at the centre is to act as a liaison between the city and the 13member advisory board.
Board members advise city staff on programs they would like to see established, and fundraise for various programs and activities.
Those fundraising efforts are buoyed by a dedicated group of about 10 volunteers, who convene weekly to make various pieces of art that are then donated to the gift shop.
"All of the money from the sale of those crafts goes back into the pavilion," said Kay Fraser, who serves as secretary on the advisory board.
Keeping pace with growth in the city, coupled with the arrival of new cultural groups, has kept both board members and staff busy.
But it's a good kind of busy, one that can be challenging at times due to language and cultural barriers.
"You need to be able to smile when you meet someone, whether you can speak their language or not," Fraser said.
"I find that the people who can't speak English, when they come in to the centre, they're naturally very timid.
But as soon as you start to speak to them, they smile.
They may still be worried that they can't get their message across, but somehow it happens. It's really quite wonderful."
And for all the activities that happen inside the facility, many happen outside of it as well: jaunts into Vancouver to take in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, or day trips to local parks, restaurants or other attractions across Metro Vancouver.
And as the programming has evolved, so too have the membership numbers: about 200 people called the pavilion home in 2008 compared to nearly 1,700 members today.
"It's been amazing," Ovington said. "I think we have really progressive, innovative programming here. And on top of that, we try to follow trends and respond accordingly."
In looking to the pavilion's future, there is a definite need for more parking, keeping pace with the arrival of new cultural groups, and adding different types of programming.
What won't change, however, is the sense of belonging.
"It's a healthy place to be," said advisory board member Joan Brooks.
"You're not at home by yourself. You're out mixing with people and that will keep you young."
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