PORTAGE, Mich. — A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the grand opening of the new Community Senior Center in Portage Friday morning.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was at the event which began at 11 a.m.
The Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center spent 19 months under construction.
The new center is anticipated to offer programming, activities, and amenities to give an enhanced lifestyle of health, friendship, and independence for the older adult population.
"We have new schools, we have a new library, we have so many things, but we've never really addressed the needs of our seniors," said Portage Mayor Patricia Randell.
"So what's really important as people age, we want them to have opportunities to stay engaged, to be empowered to have community and that's what this is really all about," Whitmer said.
There are no plans to tear down the old senior center location, according to Randell.
"This is going to be used, our parks department will be moving into there. That is forever growing," Randell said.
The facility was funded by a public/private partnership called Engage. Empower. Enrich.
A campaign for the senior center raised nearly $5.7 million in community donations, the City of Portage contributed $5.5 million in city funds, and $1.5 million in state funding was allocated in the bipartisan budget signed by Whitmer.
"And it also, I think, is a wonderful example of the work that is possible when we work together. This was a private public partnership. It was Republican and Democrats coming together," Whitmer said.