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New Community Center for Northwest Leon

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Northwest Tallahassee finally has its own community center.  Tom Flanigan reports Leon County officials held an official ribbon-cutting for the facility Thursday, Feb. 21.

The new Lake Jackson Community Center is located in the Huntington Oaks Shopping Center at the corner of U.S. 27 and Fred George Road.  County Commission Chair Nick Maddox says it was like a big recycling project.

“We didn’t go out and put more concrete on the ground and take a natural piece of land and take the features off that to create another building.  We took a building that was already created and we made it into an amenity for a community that deserved it.”

Northwest District Commissioner John Dailey noted this wasn’t the first public facility for the shopping center.

“Many of you were here back in August when we cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new library and here we are again today, cutting the ribbon and celebrating our new community center.”

Now the new county facilities have sparked a wholesale renovation of the entire property.  Crews are redoing the parking lot and some new businesses may soon take up residence in the center.  County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley calls it productive teamwork.

“One of the things you hear all the time is how government is bloated, it does too much, it’s too overwhelming, it costs too much.  But now I just like to look at what government does as a partnership, which has helped pull together a lot of wonderful organizations and groups to offer something that the people want and enjoy.”

County Commissioner Jane Saul’s district got a new community center a few years ago when the Woodville Center opened. 

“When you come together for a meal and for some information, it’s always a great thing and this will really add to your community.  It’ll bring your community closer together.”

That sentiment was echoed by Florida Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Charles Corley.  He was there to help out the Tallahassee Senior Center staff who kicked off the center’s first-ever event right after the ribbon-cutting.

“Having an outlet like this in the neighborhood, there’s no substitute.  There are people that are going to come out for this, there are people who are going to knock on their neighbor’s doors and say, ‘Hey, look what I’ve discovered!’  They’re going to share this.  It’s going to bring some folks out of the house that are maybe starting to feel a little bit isolated.”

The new Lake Jackson Community Center covers three thousand square feet.  It has  large and medium size meeting rooms with total capacity of a hundred-fifty-people.  It also features multi-media facilities and a small kitchen area.