Lancaster and county officials broke ground recently on a renovation project which will expand and refurbish the Antelope Valley Senior Center, 777 W. Jackman St., in Lancaster. The project is expected to be completed by March 2018.

The senior center offers a social, educational, and recreational environment for seniors 50 years and older. The expanded downtown area building will meet the increased demand for services, due to the growing number of local seniors desiring to get connected and be involved.

Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS)—recognizing the need to update and increase the size of the center, which currently features a multi—purpose/lunch hall, computer lab, billiards room, gym area, library, card and art rooms, as well as a few small offices—sought funding from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors which granted $1.5 million to the project. The expansion will add 3,400 square feet of space, as well as many upgrades throughout the existing building.

The project includes a separate 1,300 square foot multi—purpose room, which will enable multiple activities to be held without displacing eager guests, as well as a new patio area adjacent to the new multi—purpose room.

“Our seniors deserve the highest quality programs and services—and I am very pleased to work with the City of Lancaster on the expansion and enhancement of this vital facility,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger (Fifth District) “Working together with the community in facilitating this project, we are helping to keep our seniors active, healthy and thriving!”

“Senior citizens are truly the cornerstone of our society. Here in Lancaster, not only have they laid the foundation for our region’s current achievements, a number of them remain actively involved in our community today,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Facilities such as this center provide a central hub for active and involved seniors. As community engagement is of great importance to myself and the city council, we are pleased to partner with the county on this expansion project, which will enhance the quality of life for many Antelope Valley seniors.”

Constructed in 1978, the Antelope Valley Senior Center currently comprises 13,800 square feet. Serving up to 700 people per day, the Center often overflows with seniors waiting in the hallway for activities to alternate, due to the limited amount of rooms within the facility.

With the support of the county, Lancaster managed the design process, and is managing the upcoming construction. In order to design and build out the expansion in an expeditious manner, the city awarded a contract to three local companies—Fraber Properties II, Sawyer Construction, and Antelope Valley Engineering. Throughout the design process, both the contractors and Los Angeles County staff participated in the evaluation panels hosted by the city.

“We continually strive to provide improved facilities and services to our residents. Partnering with Los Angeles County on a project such as the Antelope Valley Senior Center expansion is both an honor and a privilege,” Parris said. “We look forward to the many benefits this expansion will surely afford our local seniors.”

The Antelope Valley Senior Center will remain open during construction. Center hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more details, call (661) 726-4400.