DANSVILLE — As part of its long-term goal, Dansville Community Center has been undergoing an expansion for the past few months, with the expectation of opening the new, additional space this fall.
Dansville Community Center is located on West Avenue, formerly the Rogers and Tenbrook store, in the building attached to Dansville Foursquare Church. The not-for-profit community center is owned and operated by the church.
“We’ve always wanted to develop new projects ... that in the early plans we’ve just had to wait for funding, to really get off the ground, get sustainable and then get to the point where we’re comfortable enough to push forward,” Dansville Foursquare Church Pastor Shawn Harnish said.
The expansion is in four different areas of the property.
The first is the courtyard, formerly the Rogers and Tenbrook lumber yard. Two of the three outbuildings have been torn down and the ground given new topsoil and has been reseeded.
The plan is to open that up as a multi-purpose outdoor facility for the community center’s After-School, Summer Rec and Summer Vacation Club programs as well as for party rentals.
The second remodeling effort is next to the courtyard, in what was formerly the Rogers and Tenbrook drive-in warehouse. There, the community center is building a gym which already has a new roof and ceiling, and will have dense, rubber floors. The space will also include basketball hoops and a bounce house, and will serve as an indoor facility for banquets and a back-up for outdoor activities in case of inclement weather.
The third is converting the space that has been used by Hayabusa Martial Arts, between the new gym and current community center, into a daycare center. The martial arts studio is currently in the church while renovation is going on, but will be moved into the gym as will be a Tabata exercise class.
“It falls in line with our primary functions,” Harnish said of adding the daycare. He said that after canvassing the area, there are not a lot of options for center-based daycare services.
The fourth project, which has already been finished, is converting one of the center’s former classrooms into a theater. The theater is furnished with plush couches on raised tiers, and seats about 24 people. It also has wheelchair accessibility. The church has used the theater already for a screening of “I Can Only Imagine,” which was the basis for the church’s homegroup curriculum. The summer rec kids have used the theater as well.
In addition to the remodeling, the community center is also shifting its after-school program entirely from the elementary school to sharing it with the community center grounds. The students will be at the school for the first hour, then bussed to the community center.
“We’ll have so much more to offer them here,” Harnish said. “With the center, with the games, with the theater room, and the classroom, and the gym space and the outdoor space. We can offer them so much more down here verses the cafeteria at EBH.”
The community center is also working on bringing to life other ideas such as reopening the center on Friday nights as a teen hang out, plus other activities for the near future as well. In addition to its own in-house programs, the community center is open for rental.