The dining room of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center was buzzing with excited conversation Thursday morning as nearly 400 people waited to celebrate the grand opening of the expansion project.
Governing Board member Tom Baker served as master of ceremonies, introducing many people responsible for making the project happen.
"Fourteen years ago we dedicated the new building," Baker said. "It is through the seniors and this community this (expansion) has happened."
"It does my heart good to see you all here," said Janice McIntosh, executive director of the center.
"The construction has been hard and long. I thank you for putting up with everything."
The building smelled of fresh paint and new carpeting, and the recently polished floors gave off a noticeable shine.
"It's very exciting," said Lois Sonnenwald, who has been a member of the center six years. "We like it. It's beautiful. I use the library a lot."
Sonnenwald was attending the ceremony with friends Marge Padovano and Ted Denomme. Denomme joined the center in April; Padovano joined Thursday.
"The whole thing is fantastic," said Sonnenwald. "We especially like the bus tours they offer."
Close to 300 people took advantage of a prime rib lunch, with many standing in line for more than 45 minutes to pay and be seated.
U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons told those in attendance nothing brings a community together like a modern senior citizens center.
"This is part of your history, heritage and legacy," he said. "It's wonderful to have so many people here to enjoy such a great new facility."
Rita Plank, widow of the late Carson City Supervisor Jon Plank, was on hand for the ceremony, which included dedication of the courtyard and fountain in honor of her husband. She was accompanied by her daughter, Cheryl Payne.
"I think it's wonderful they did this for Jon," Plank said. "Jon would be so proud to see it completed. It's so beautiful."
"I think it's really great," added Payne.
"Jon wanted the courtyard - a place like this. It's wonderful," Plank added.
What: Carson City Senior Citizens Center expansion project
When: Began May 2003, completed July 2004
Size: 13,000 square feet
Cost: $2.5 million
Includes: Adult day care; billiards; computer room; administrative offices; courtyard with fountain; expanded dining facility; new air conditioning/ventilation system; library
Location: 911 Beverly Drive
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.