The Maricopa Community Center officially opened Saturday with a pair of ribbon cuttings that drew about 200 people on a rainy morning.
The new facility at 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, the former city library, features space for seniors and veterans groups on the east and west sides of the building, respectively, with a large open room in the middle. A flagpole has been erected in front of the building.
The ceremony, held indoors at the 8,000-square-foot center, was attended by city leaders and staff, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Blue Star Mothers of Maricopa as well as members of the Age-Friendly Advisory Committee, including Joan Koczor who has passionately advocated for a real senior center for years.
Vice Mayor Nancy Smith, council liaison to the Age-Friendly committee, thanked Koczor and presented her with a gift for her tireless efforts.
Concurrent ribbon cuttings were held at each wing of the building, with Smith leading for the senior center and Mayor Christian Price for the veterans center.
While the seniors and veterans will have use of the building’s main space, it is also available to the community-at-large, as Smith pointed out in her remarks, whether for musical and theater events or even wedding receptions.
Joining Smith and Price in addressing the gathering were Councilmembers Rich Vitiello, Bob Marsh and Amber Liermann, assistant city manager Jennifer Brown and director of community services Nathan Ullyot.
Marsh said he and his wife, Cynthia, would donate equipment to the center so residents can digitize their family photos and preserve them in the cloud.
The Rev. Arnold Jackson offered the invocation, Koczor led the Pledge of Allegiance and Carrie Vargas sang the National Anthem. The Presentation of Colors was by the American Legion Post 133 Color Guard.
Renovation of the building cost $80,000.
Here’s a gallery of photos from the event. Click for the captions: