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Re-opened center will benefit community

A ceremony was held March 19 to mark the re-opening of the E.M. Henry Community Center at the park of the same name in the West End community.

The city of Clanton, with help and prodding from local groups of residents, worked for more than two years to have the center re-opened after it was closed for fire code violations.

Several city officials and others involved with the project were present at the recent ceremony, but those who stand to gain the most from the center’s re-opening are residents of the area—and perhaps more than anyone, local children.

The center was home to a Head Start program for years until the closing. Since then, children who could use a boost before they start public school have been without Head Start’s services. That’s a tragedy.

The city has done its part to complete the renovations needed to re-open the center, and now Head Start must decide whether to resume classes there. We certainly hope it chooses to do so because there are many children in the city that could use help.

Even if Head Start decides another location would be preferable, at least children would have access to the services.

With or without Head Start, the E.M. Henry center will provide benefits for the community.

There is space to rent for family reunions, a workout facility and other amenities.

Perhaps most importantly, the center serves as a centerpiece and point of pride for the West End community.

We’re glad to see it open again.