“God Bless America” played over a loud speaker as an 1864 American flag guided the final beam of the Douglas County Community and Senior Center into place during the topping out ceremony Thursday at Lampe Park.
A crowd of close to 300 people raised their glasses of sparkling cider and toasted as the ridge beam to the long-awaited community building was lowered into place.
“The turnout and support the community is showing is incredible. It’s a reflection of the collective excitement that the community has,” Douglas County Manager Steve Mokrohisky said. “It’s not just a building, but it really will be a gathering place and focal point to build a sense of community we haven’t had.”
The structure itself will be complete in spring 2015, however, donations are still needed to fully furnish the center.
Scott Morgan, community services director, said about 400,000 people use the Kahle Community Center each year, and he expects about two million to use the Carson Valley facility.
“The senior component combined with the activity rooms, it has something for everybody,” he said. “The building is generating a lot of excitement in the community. It’s amazing from the outside and even better inside.”
The 83, 225-square-foot building will house a senior center with a dining room for 300 people and administrative offices. The community center includes a senior day care, health nurse office, preschool, community activity rooms, fitness and workout areas and gymnasiums
Ruhenstroth residents Vera and Jim Gesselman toured the site Wednesday.
“I can’t say enough good about what they’ve done. The planning was fantastic. It was so thorough. Nothing is missing,” Vera said. “This is for anybody in the community from preschool on up.”
The Gesselmans were especially impressed by the large picture window in the dining room looking out at Jobs Peak.
“They want to keep the rural aspect. It’s a beautiful community place,” Jim said. “Another good thing for the community is having a senior day care. It’s such a safe facility for them to go to. It’s going to be useful for a lot of people.”
Commissioner Greg Lynn echoed those statements saying he was glad the proposal was defeated twice at the polls in the past.
“This building and its functions is at least triple what the original proposal was going to be. The number of functions this building is going to perform is phenomenal,” he said. “The community is going to be very impressed to see what we’ve done once we get it done.”
Senior Services Manager Travis Lee discussed the importance of having a community and senior center.
“It means that this is the first step where our community can create a hub and join together as families. It’s a big day,” Lee said. “We’re excited to celebrate a place where not only the youngest of youngest can come, but the oldest, too. Ten years from now people will look back at this day as a significant step in taking care of our families and community.”
To donate, visit www.dccsf.com.