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New $2M Community Center With Library Opens In Valley Center

A new community center is open in Valley Center that includes a library and a senior center.

The library is still in the process of moving and reshelving its 45,000-plus books and other items. Only some of the collections were in place when a grand opening event was held on July 4.

Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW

“We just made up our minds that we were going to do the best we could so everybody could come in and see the building,” says library director Janice Sharp.

She says dozens of boxes of books will be unpacked when new shelves arrive by the end of the month.

Book collections in the new library are spread out, shelves are lower and there is room for storytime within the children’s area.

A community room, two small study rooms and six computer stations are available.

Sharp likes the modern, open layout.

“And the windows, oh my. We didn’t have any windows at the other building, so the windows are just fantastic,” she says.

The community center, located in Lions Park, replaces older buildings that did not have enough space.

“It is a hub of the community,” says Valley Center City Council Member Ben Anderson. “Before, our library and our community building were separate. They were a mile and a half apart, and didn’t have any function together ever.”

More than two decades of planning and fundraising went into the new community center.

Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW

It cost about $2 million, split between the city and private donations. Anderson says the community support is overwhelming.

“It’s pretty easy to take taxpayer money through the City Council and put it in something, but I don’t think people appreciate it as much as when they have to raise funds for it. There’s a little bit more pride in that,” he says.

Anderson, who serves as the senior meal organizer, says the new senior center has more space for programming and can accommodate more people for its meal service.

“This is a building that is going to be here for a long time, and I think it will be something that keeps people moving to Valley Center instead of moving away,” Anderson says.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.