In July of 2009, the Pickens County School District signed over the abandoned, derelict Ben Hagood School (formerly the Pickens Mill Elementary School) to the City of Pickens who leased it to a newly formed 501(c)3, non-profit, Senior Citizens of Pickens (SCOP) for 20 years. This school, now largely renovated became the Hagood Community Center, home of the Pickens Senior Center.
Initially, Senior Unlimited, a non-profit with multiple locations in Pickens County and subsidized with state funds ran the programs and supplied the meals (from another location) for the Pickens Senior Center. However, Seniors Unlimited shortly ran into financial problems, consolidated operations, and withdrew from the Pickens Senior Center at the Hagood Community Center.
At that point, October 2011, SCOP, an all-volunteer organization without subsidies for meals or operations, took over all the programs and meal preparation for the Pickens Senior Center. SCOP continues to run all the operations today with all volunteers.
Renovation of the building has been accomplished with funds from the SC Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging, the City of Pickens, and fund raising by SCOP. Renovations have included a new roof, windows, doors, exterior trim, gutters, walls, refinished floors, painting, a handicap ramp, new exterior entrance, renovated restrooms, and many other enhancements. Additionally, SCOP constructed from scratch a fully functioning commercial kitchen including the complete replacement of the waste system for the kitchen. Less than 20% of the building (mainly an Auditorium) remains to be renovated, which SCOP hopes to accomplish over the next year or two depending on grants and fund raising.