WAGRAM — People from across Scotland County came together on Thursday to herald the opening of the new Wagram Community Building.
The facility, at 22080 McKay St., will serve as a place for people to host events, but also as a site for the Lumber River Council of Governments nutrition program that serves seniors.
“We are excited about this new beginning for not only the community, but the older adults in the community,” said Michelle Gaitley, LRCOG nutrition program director. “If it wasn’t for the new building, the Lumber River would have had to stop meal serving in the community. It is a small service, but it is a needed a service.”
The Wagram Community Building has been in the works since 2012. The project was funded by a Community Development Block Grant.
“It was a lengthy process,” said Wagram Mayor Milton Farmer. “But it was well worth it.”
Officials said the old Community Building was in disrepair and could not be renovated.
Julia M’Bayo, who works with the Lumber River Council of Governments said the former building was “essentially collapsing” above people’s heads.
“The old building, it was falling apart,” M’Bayo said. “Let’s just say it had character.”
Officials said the next step will be transitioning people into the new building. The nutrition program hopes to increase use of the new facility with programs that include bingo nights, seminars for seniors and free health screenings.
“I have all men, but if I can get enough older ladies then I’m going to have speed dating,” M’Bayo said.
Phil Green, a senior, who had frequented the old center, said it should not be hard to get seniors like himself to utilize the new center. Green said he is glad to be leaving the fire station in Wagram that served as the community center while the new facility was being built.
“This is great. I was in the old one and I liked that … now we’re in the fire house and I hate that,” Green said. “I’ll be glad to come back here.”
The building will also serve as a meeting place for the American Legion and may be rented for community and private events.
About 30 people attended the ribbon cutting sponsored by the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce.
“This is not only an asset to Wagram, it’s an asset to the entire county,” said Lee Howell, chamber chairman.