New Shelby activity center welcomes public with grand opening

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 30, 2019

 Shelby Township Parks and Recreation  Director Joe Youngblood talks about  the township’s new activity center during the building’s  official grand  opening Sept. 27.

Shelby Township Parks and Recreation Director Joe Youngblood talks about the township’s new activity center during the building’s official grand opening Sept. 27.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

 The new activity center includes a game room.

The new activity center includes a game room.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Shelby Township held a grand opening celebration for its new activity and senior center Sept. 28.

The grand opening was held from noon to 3 p.m. at the center, which was formerly the Boys & Girls Club at 14975 21 Mile Road. A grand opening with township officials also was held Sept. 27 with the Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce.

During the Sept. 28 event, the community was able to tour the activity center while enjoying music, food trucks, bounce houses, crafts, games and more.

“The activities center will be a community space for seniors, families, friends and neighbors,” Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said. “It provides a space to gather and further the bonds of community that make Shelby Township unique.”

The Shelby Township Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the former Boys & Girls Club, which was constructed in 1995, during a meeting on Oct. 16, 2018.

The board approved a purchase price of $2,250,000 for the property and a budget of $1.5 million for renovations and improvements. In total, according to Shelby Township, the facility is a $3.75 million investment that could have cost as much as $6.25 million if it was new construction.

The activity and senior center building has 25,000 square feet and stands on 8.04 acres. It will house the Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department offices and staff, as well as operate as the township’s senior center from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The former senior center on Van Dyke Avenue was 11,404 square feet in size.

Paul Massaro, of Shelby Township, attended the grand opening and shared his thoughts on the new center.

“I think the new activity center is great because I live off of 21 and Schoenherr, and we like the fact that we have a track (indoors) in the winter. … It seems like they have a lot going on. We think it’s fantastic for seniors,” he said.

Massaro mentioned that there is a lot of open land around the property for future use.

“There’s a ton of land back there in case they need to expand, unlike the other location,” he said. “You can even rent the rooms in case you have something going on.”

He commented on the building being packed during the grand opening.

“It was really neat to see this kind of turnout,” said Massaro.

The activity center has a 7,500-square-foot gymnasium that will provide space for physical activity and events.

“With a 7,500-square-foot, full-size gym, more than 8 acres of sports fields and grounds, and features like a computer lab and lounge with wireless internet, this building will be the center of our township for many, many years,” Stathakis said.

The gym can also be rented for use.

During the week, the senior center staff has been working on a full slate of recreational programs for the gym.

“This building gives us so many more opportunities to serve the residents and seniors,” Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood said. “We’re offering a lot of new programs and events, and we’re just scratching the surface of what we can do. It is an exciting time for the community.”

The activity center will have an indoor walking area, a dedicated computer lab, and more options for fitness and active recreation.

Margaret Harwood, of Shelby Township, attended the event with her husband and children. She said that they are looking forward to utilizing the programs.

“We are very excited about the activity center. We have a young family, and we’re looking forward to spending time here,” she said.

The activity center also will be the location of many of the township’s recreational, educational, cultural and entertainment events and programs that have been held elsewhere.

The activity center will host regular parks and recreation activities such as crafts, fitness classes and dance, as well as drop-in and league basketball, volleyball and pickleball.

“This is a plan that is sensible and financially conservative,” Shelby Township Trustee Lynn Wilhelm said. “It gives our community an asset that will pave the way for tremendous growth in our senior center and recreation amenities. We now have a great recreation facility paid for in cash with no debt, no bonding and no tax increases.”

Fazal Kahn & Associates was the engineering firm that worked with the township on the project.

For more information on the new activity center, call (586) 731-0300 or email shelbyprm@shelbytwp.org.

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