By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Center reserved sight unseen
The Ceres Community Center is months from completion but already the city is taking bookings for weddings and anniversary parties - sight unseen.

The city trusts that all construction will be done by May and is accepting reservations for the first week in June.

"It continues to move forward with the complexity of the building," said Doug Lemcke, director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Ceres. "We've had certain delays with subcontractors ... and the rains."

Cold weather is giving slight delay for the paving of the parking lot, he said, and the project is awaiting one of two inspectors in the state for elevator certification.

City recreation staffers are also gearing up for the programs that will be offered.

"We've got all kinds of things tentatively planned for the center," said Lemcke.

While private parties it, the facility will be the hub for all indoor city recreation programs, said Lemcke. His staff is organizing the following classes for the center's upstairs fitness room: dance classes, including ballet, jazz, flamingo and belly dance; Elementary Tumbling and Cheernastics and KidFit classes.

The city is also planning to contract with a professional computer firm to conduct the computer lab and offer computer classes.

At a Jan. 15 study session with the Ceres City Council, Lemcke will propose a list of policies for the center use, including a reservation policy and procedures for usage.

Lemcke envisions a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the center but some service clubs are planning a black tie optional gala, probably in June. The evening event, organized by the Soroptimist International of Ceres, would be complete with hors d'ouevres and live music. Proceeds would be used for scholarships for low-income youth to participate in programs at the center.

"It's really going to expose the center to most of the leaders in the community," said Lemcke. "A lot of them belong to these different service clubs."

Lemcke said if the City Council approves, the Masonic Lodge is also planning to bury a 50-year time capsule on the premises. Items to be placed inside the capsule would be Ceres related and wouldn't be opened until 2059.

The center will also offer a Senior Lounge where senior citizens may drop in for social time, reading materials and games. Lemcke expects regular health screenings to be offered at the room.

Other smaller classrooms will be used for CPR and first aid training, sign language and science classes.

The upstairs arts and crafts rooms will be the site for oil and acyrylic painting classes, clay making and model airplane making classes.

Lemcke said the center will be flexible enough to adjust the uses based on the community's wants and needs.

"This is going to be an impressive facilty and I think the community's going to enjoy it," said Lemcke. "The programs will be ever changing based on the needs of the ctizens of Ceres."

The city has extended its deadline to buy commemorative bricks until this Friday. To date the city has sold 178 bricks for a total of $32,100, which is shy of the $50,000 goal.

The bricks will be made at a Colorado facility and take two months from time of order to the time of delivery.

Proceeds from the bricks will be used for ongoing equipment costs associated with the center.

Lemcke would like to enact a program to give businesses and corporations the rights to name a room for $2 per square foot per year. The large assembly room could be named for $10,000 a year, estimated Lemcke.