More than 100 people turned out for the grand opening celebration at the North Mecklenburg Senior Center Thursday. The center moved in November from its Cornelius location, in River Church on Catawba Avenue, to the Solid Rock Christian Church, on N.C. 115 in Huntersville.
“We believe that today really marks the beginning of expanded services we can offer to seniors in North Mecklenburg,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Senior Centers Board Chair Bob Shaffer said. “The turnout today underscores the need for such a facility in the northern part of the county.”
The center serves more than 300 seniors from North Mecklenburg, and Center Director Joanne Ahern said with the new location, plans are to increase the center’s program offerings and extend its hours.
Before the ribbon cutting, Solid Rock Pastor Sylvester Williams welcomed the seniors, and said how pleased the church as to offer its space to the center. The church offers 7,000 square feet of classroom and multipurpose space, including a kitchen, and has ample parking space.
“We are thrilled to have you all here,” he said, and led the group in a prayer.
Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte also spoke, and praised the center as a good example of regionalism and “cooperation between our communities.” Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain echoed his comments, saying “we have the potential for so many partnerships.”
The new location makes the center more accessible for people, Mr. Shaffer said, and with the growing population of people ages 60 and older, he expects senior center participation to continue to increase.
“There is still a far greater need than we are able to fulfill,” Mr. Shaffer said, but “this shows that the CMSC can work with the community and government officials to achieve a broader objective.”