By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Escalon Dedicates Community Center
A project anticipated in the community for years and completed over the course of several months came to fruition on Saturday, with the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon in a morning ceremony at the Escalon Community Center.

The rededication of the newly refurbished Escalon Community Center on Escalon Avenue on Nov. 15 brought back some memories for long time Escalon resident Mary Ann Olson.

Olson, the chairperson of the centennial committee for Saron Lutheran Church, had already reserved the facility for Nov. 13, 2009 for the church celebration, and was attending the rededication to check out the building.

"We're coming to see if it's worth it," she said with a chuckle.

Faye Hanlon, another longtime local resident, was also at the event.

"This is exciting; it's very much needed," she said.

Hanlon, whose husband, George, was born and raised in Escalon, recalled with Olson when Saron Lutheran Church used to serve smorgasbord lunches to the community in a Quonset hut prior to the original Community Center being built.

"It took us a long time to get it built the first time," said Hanlon. "It had been planned for many years."

The renovation was also in the planning stages for a couple of years, with the variety of community groups that used it on a regular bass spending better than the past year meeting in other locations while the project was completed.

With a large crowd on hand waiting to tour the freshened-up facility, Escalon Mayor Gary Haskin pointed out the refurnished community center had a new senior room, patio, and kitchen, other among other amenities, and also meets handicapped access requirements.

The new senior room, in particular, drew admiring comments from many of the people attending the grand reopening.

Myrtle King, who has lived in Escalon since 1946, recalled working in the city's senior lunch program for 29 years.

"I really like the space for the seniors," she said, noting it would be put to good use.

The senior lunch program will resume Tuesday and Thursday service there in December and the first official gathering at the newly refurbished center will be the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 27.