West Palm Beach is finishing a $1.4 million renovation of the Pleasant City Community Center, one of more than 80 projects expected to be completed in the city over the next four years.
Built in the 1970s and located at 501 21st St., the renovated community center will essentially be a new structure.
“The building itself needed to be completed renovated,” said Leah Rockwell, the city’s parks and recreation director. “We pretty much gutted every room.”
The community center is getting new, energy-efficient lighting, impact doors and windows, new cabinetry in a new community kitchen, a computer lab, 1,200 square feet of additional space and a new roof.
“We’re expecting that roof to last 30 years like the first one did,” Rockwell said. Sales tax money is being used for the renovations.
Kitchen will allow cooking classes at Pleasant City Community Center
The community center has long been a focal point in the area, but its shortcomings limited what could be done there.
“There was no technology in the building,” Rockwell said.
When it re-opens — tentatively scheduled for late June, depending on the weather and on the progress of the final stages of construction — the community center’s computer lab will be used by members of the general public and by teens in the city’s Youth Empowerment Center, which provides programming in entrepreneurship, financial management, life skills, technology, health and wellness.
The center will also serve as a sort of annex where community members can access some of the services offered by the Mandel Public Library. Rockwell said members of the public had input on what they wanted in the community center, and one demand stood out – a community kitchen.
“The community had said they wanted cooking classes to teach them how to prepare more healthy foods to deal with health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure,” Rockwell said.
Center due to reopen in June after being closed since August
The community center has been closed since August, and Rockwell said residents are looking forward to getting it back online.
Kelly Shoaf, whose City Commission district includes the Pleasant City Community Center, said the facility plays an important role in the community.
“Providing after-school programs, athletics, art classes, homework centers, and home to the Youth Empowerment Center, the Pleasant City Community Center has been a staple in the community and the new renovation will provide expanded programming and additional resources to all of our residents,” Shoaf said.
Source: Palm Beach Post