WALNUT — A Grand Opening of the Walnut Community Center will be held starting at 4:30 p.m. today (Saturday, Sept. 7) at the community center.
The former Walnut Community School complex became city property after Walnut schools merged with AHST, and community members have been working hard to turn the buildings into a community center.
“The school was the heart of the community when it was operating as a school,” Walnut Mayor Gene Larsen said during early stages of working on the center.
Larsen, like many Walnut residents, has many memories of going to Walnut schools, he attended in his childhood, and was even hired to help work on the old gym floor when it was put in, in 1966.
Located at 415 Antique City Drive, the buildings could make Walnut a destination, Larsen said. “It’s our goal to transform it into a community center that will remain the heart of the community.”
The schedule for the Grand Opening includes tours, a ribbon cutting, dinner and dance.
Building tours will be offered from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
A ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5 p.m.
A dinner will be held in Warrior Hall from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The band Red Delicious will play for a dance from 8 p.m. to midnight in Cardinal Hall, with a cash bar open from 5 p.m. to midnight.
The last class graduated from the Walnut Community School in 2014. The elementary was open for two more years, and the last classes were held in the building in 2016.
That spring the Walnut City Council and the Walnut School Board held meetings concerning the future of the facility. The council voted to take possession of the building pending requests to the school board like the destruction of the elementary building, and HVAC improvements for both gyms.