After more than a decade of debate and planning, Chartiers Township Community Center will officially open its doors to residents this week.
And the sky is the limit for what residents can expect to do at the 9,100-square-foot building adjacent to Arnold Park.
“We will have things that will interest everyone from the young to old,” said Samantha Keller, who was hired earlier this year as manager of the center. “We will have classes in gardening, cooking, fitness and Zumba.”
The center features a banquet area with accomodations for more than 200 guests for anything from weddings and baby showers to meetings. There also is a multipurpose room.
“An activities room adjacent to the banquet area can be used for overflow guests or to set up a buffet,” said Jodi Noble, township manager. “If you don’t need the space, there are accordion dividers.”
Two portable bars also are available. If the function requires a PowerPoint presentation, video display or slideshow, there is a screen on the wall.
“The commercial kitchen is very versatile,” Noble said. “It is equipped with a convection oven and fryer.”
Keller noted the dishwasher does a load of dishes in two-and-a-half minutes.
The township’s senior citizens group also has its own space at the new center for meetings and other activities, including bingo games. It is equipped with a refrigerator and sink. Keller said the group will be free to bring in speakers and conduct other programs of interest.
Township officials also took into consideration the continued development of Arnold Park and the Patsch Athletic Field. Each end of the building can be opened and used as a concession stand for various events.
Grading will begin on the athletic field this summer. Noble said tentative plans call for baseball fields and a field that can be used for soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse.
Some of the classes will carry a nominal charge. Nonresidents also can attend for a fee. Keller said the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday as needed. The hours will be adjusted as necessary.
The contract for the construction of the building was awarded in December 2012, with ground broken the following month. Much of the cost of the $1.56 million project was covered by two $500,000 grants from the local share allocation and state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program.
There will be a dedication ceremony for invited guests at 1 p.m. Friday, followed by a fundraising dinner at 6 p.m. The official grand opening for residents is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The opening will feature story time with the Houston Library from 10 to noon. The Rockin’ Tacos will perform from 3 to 4 p.m.
Also planned are class demonstrations, clowns, arts and crafts, health screenings and refreshments.