New community center breaks ground - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New community center breaks ground

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Its a project that has been in the works for almost a decade and Wednesday it broke ground.
The$ 42 million project will be a huge expansion of WesternHome Communities' South Main Campus in Cedar Falls.
The new building will become the center of the senior living community providing not only new independent living space and medical recovery suites, but meeting rooms, dinning area, and a performance theater. 

One goal of the project is to bridge a gap between people living at WesternHome and the Cedar Valley community.
  Current residents want to be more involved in the community but say that desire is outgrowing the facilities.

 Packed into a crowded dining hall, residents listen to the popular community choir.
 The 43 member choir tolerates the make-shift performance area but it is too small to accommodate all of the audience at once.
"We have to meet in the dining room, turn the chairs around, take the chairs down," said Choir Director Martha Hansen.
 

  The lack of meeting space has also limited some seniors' abilities to get involved with younger generations.
"These buildings aren't big enough to really hold all the people and then if we want to give lessons and that type of stuff, we are stuck into a little exercise room," said  Donna Brown, a resident of WesternHome Communities.

  It is just an empty field now, but soon the area will be a 150 acre building that will not only fill the needs of residents, but also invite in the Cedar Valley.
  "We are hoping to involve a lot more of the mentors and the young kids in various activities that might be in the news building and have room for everything. We are looking forward to that," said Brown.
   And with more than 450 seats in the new performance space, the choir will have room for not only all the people who want to see them, but "We will definitely have room for the outside community. Our friends and neighbors," said Hansen.

 The Choir Director told me, she plans to add dancing and acting into the performance thanks to the new space.
 The entire project should be complete in the fall of next year.

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