January 18, 2018 

By E. Mesiyah McGinnis 

Contributing Writer 


Hundreds of seniors came out to celebrate the grand opening of the new senior facility in the rapidly developing City of Inglewood, located on the N/E corner of Queen Street and Locust Ave.  The seniors had been promised a new facility back in 2005 when the old building was demolished to make way for the new state-of-the- art senior center but construction happened.  However, with a new regime of like-minded folks in City Hall, projects and being completed and new center is ready to serve the needs of community’s seniors. 


Artie Fields, City Manager for the City of Inglewood, pointed out to hundreds of senior attendees that during the development stage, his staff sometimes worried if the Mayor would financially support their lofty ideas for the center.   “So, we’d call the Mayor and everyone would look sheepish, and we’d say, ‘Mayor, we have something we’d like to talk you about.’  After about five times of calling meetings, he knew that every meeting we were asking about money.  But I can tell you that he never turned us down.   And so, we put every bell and whistle we thought you deserved in the senior center and you won’t disappointed at all,” assured Fields.


Mayor James Butts spoke directly.  “I got elected in 2011 and [the Senior Center] is all I’ve heard about since 2011.  Well, today, this promise is fulfilled and kept for you,” he said.   According to Mayor Butts, the center is 35, 000 square feet a cost 27 million dollars to build.  Butts stated that in all his work experience, he has never seen a more superior facility.  “I have never seen a building the quality of this structure that you will inhabit from now on.” 


Mayor Butts praised Congress­woman Maxine Waters and Councilman Eloy Morales Jr., for their unwavering commitment to the project.  Morales Jr. representative of District 3, is the senior member of the council. He emotionally reflected on his 15 years with the City of Inglewood and how different the environment was then. “It’s so ­different.  We are like a family now but back then it wasn’t like that,” he said. Morales mentioned how the positive environment and the family-like camaraderie in City Hall helps to get projects completed.


Congresswoman Waters was instrumental in earmarking 4.5 million dollars through Congress (from 1999 to 2005), securing the allocated funds needed to financially support the senior center project years later.  “We have all worked very hard.  As the mayor alluded to, the City of Inglewood is experiencing great economic development and considerate growth.  Our seniors will not be left out,” She said, as the enthusiastic seniors applauded her.  “I am here with the Mayor, City Council, all the elected officials, and the leadership of the city to join with you in this wonderful spectacular event today.  Mayor James Butts you have done a spectacular job as a leader of this city. This was a long time coming but you have made this happen.  You are to be congratulated for your leaders.  Waters also mentioned members of the city council and all the elected officials.  “I am more than happy in what I am seeing today, she sad.


Congresswoman Waters and Councilman Morales Jr. were honored for their tireless work with replica paintings of their image to be hanged in the senior facility.   With one more trick up his sleeve, Mayor Butts stunned Waters with the news that a special room in the center was named after her.  


Sabrina Barnes, director of Parks and Recreation and Library Services, felt the time was right for the senior center. “Today is a great day in the City of Inglewood.  Our seniors deserve it; this is the least we can do for them considering what they have done for the community.  A lot of the services that we provide are meant to keep our seniors independent and healthy in mind and body, and this is going to be a great place for them to live rich lives, Barnes said. 


“It’s very important to have this facility so we can stay active and have a beautiful place to fellowship, said Cheryl Brewer, a senior resident of Inglewood.  Senior citizen Jeannette Taylor has been attending the center since 1986, where she has volunteered and helped other seniors. “I am very proud to see this day coming.  We have waited a long time. I thank and praise God for this day, “ she said. 


The general message of the event was that the City of Inglewood is a united front and steadily moving forward in the mission of expansion.

Category: Community