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Community center open for business

The Sunnyside Community Center is open and people have been flooding through the doors to marvel at the building, which is expected to be a hub of community activity.

Cristina Klatovsky of the Washington State Migrant Council, the operator of the center for the next five years, spoke to members of the Sunnyside Kiwanis Club Thursday morning. The Washington State Migrant Council was chosen by the Sunnyside City Council to operate the building, according to Klatovsky.

"It's not a youth center, but youth will be using it," said Klatovsky.

She said they will be providing activities for adults, as well as youths. Programs for youngsters will include after-school tutoring and homework assistance, which will begin after spring break.

She added that center officials are working with the Sunnyside Police Department to provide a class for adults on protecting themselves from identity theft.

Opening this past Monday, Klatovsky said the center has been averaging between 80 and 100 visitors a day. She anticipates it will slow down next week as youths return to school.

Besides providing the community with activities, the community center will also be open for meetings and be available to rent for special events.

The gymnasium will hold 658 people and Klatovsky said they have purchased 30 round tables and 300 chairs to hold events. The facility also has a kitchen.

"We have a wish list for the kitchen," said Klatovsky, who added that they are currently sending out calls to different migrant council centers to collect spare pots, pans and dishes.

"Our intention is to make the building available for free during week days," said Klatovsky.

Renting the building to groups and parties on the weekends will make that an option.

As a part of the agreement with the city of Sunnyside, Klatovsky said the migrant council will maintain the building and has to keep it open 48 hours a week.

Klatovsky said a grand opening is being planned for mid-May, when she anticipates the outside work, which includes a fountain, will be completed.

The center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. She said the hours are flexible and if they find more people want activities from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., then they will adjust their schedule.

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