Construction on an expansion to the David R. Meager Community Center in the Town of Malta is officially underway. Town officials and other dignitaries broke ground on the project during a ceremony on the morning of Wednesday, July 30.
The expansion has traversed a winding road to get to this point. It was subject to a public referendum in December of 2007 when some residents protested the $6.1 million price tag. As Supervisor Paul Sausville said in his speech preceding the groundbreaking, the expansion was made possible through the town's conservative spending practices.
It wouldn't have happened without those resources and the prudent fiscal policies of the town board, said Sausville.
Sausville also thanked the town's Parks and Recreation department for providing programming in the community center and making it a valuable resource for residents.
"This place is busy at every moment of the day, and that is due to the hard work of the Parks and Recreation staff," he said.
The nearly 15,000-square-foot expansion will feature a gymnasium, fitness room, media center and Round Lake Library branch. The library branch in particular was referred to as a welcome addition to the community and an opportunity for even more programming.
"We're not in the building business or the monument business," said Councilman Peter Klotz, "we're in the people and programming business."
Sausville also thanked the town's citizens and the Women's Round Lake Improvement Society"which founded and runs the Round Lake Library system"for their input on the expansion, saying that such comments will ensure the expansion and library will suit the community's needs for years to come.
Former Town Supervisor David Meager himself was on hand for the groundbreaking, and said that the community center has been a great asset to the town since its construction in 2000.
"I remember when the seniors and youth didn't have a place to meet," he said. "I remember many happy events at this building."
Meager closed his speech by reiterating his statements from the original groundbreaking at the community center.
"This is the place where Malta's families will make memories that will last forever," he said.
Parks and Recreation Director Audrey Ball said that it will be "business as usual" at the community center during the construction of the expansion, and that the hope is for a September 2009 grand opening.