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Midvale Journal

Community center is ready for the history museum to move in

Dec 14, 2020 12:09PM ● By Sarah Morton Taggart

The building that formerly housed the senior center in Midvale City Park has been renovated and is ready for the Midvale Historical Museum to move in. (Sarah Morton Taggart/City Journals)

By Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]

For the first time, Midvale City will offer an event space that can be rented out for weddings, trainings and conventions. As soon as restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 are lifted, that is.

Contractors have finished renovating the former senior center building in Midvale City Park.

“We’ve already had people call asking to rent the space, but we can’t yet,” said Laura Magness, communications director for Midvale. “No rentals or anything until we’re in the green.”

The renovation has transformed the 4,806-square-foot building located in the northeast corner of the park into a comfortable, accessible community center that will provide new opportunities for Midvale residents and a new home for the history museum.

The building was built in the late 1950s and was home to the senior center for many years. Salt Lake County offered activities, classes and meals there. 

“When the senior center relocated to a brand new building on Main Street in 2015, Midvale City determined that the structure in the park was sound and worth renovating for the community to use,” said Magness.

The project budget, which included fully updating the building, resurfacing the nearby parking lot, adding new landscaping and building a new pavilion, was set at $1,385,000. Construction began in December 2019 and was completed in October. The final project cost was approximately $1,400,000.

“A big part of the work was electrical, heating and cooling, fire suppression, Utopia internet, new lighting and speakers for events,” said Matt Dahl, assistant city manager. “The public works crew did a fantastic job working through issues.”

The multi-purpose room can accommodate 350 people and has an attached kitchen with a refrigerator, sink and microwave. The stage at the north end of the room was upgraded to be ADA compliant, and new light fixtures accent the original wooden trellises that support the ceiling. 

The space will be available to rent for weddings, reunions and events. The city is also planning to partner with Canyons School District to host workshops and classes there.

The north area of the community center, which was an addition built in the 1980s, will soon be home to the Midvale Historical Society & Museum. 

“We’ve been waiting four or five years for this,” said Bill Miller, president of the Midvale Historical Society. “We can do all kinds of fun things with the community. It’s a smaller building, but we have all this open space. I like the way we can arrange it.”

The museum will have access to a storage room and an office. The existing museum space does not have either of those amenities. “The office is exciting, to have a quiet space,” Miller said. “If someone wants to get a family history they have a quiet space.”

Miller also anticipates using the main hall for conventions and events related to the museum.

The Redevelopment Agency of Midvale City owns the property at 7697 S. Main Street that the museum has occupied for 18 years. New plans for using that building are in the works. 

Rounding out the community center are updated restrooms and a small office. The restrooms have also been made ADA compliant. 

The new 6,514-square-foot pavilion constructed next to the community center is meant to replace the old bowery on the west side of the park. Tables with seating for 300 will be placed in the new pavilion. The bowery will be demolished and replaced with parking spaces. 

The parking lot to the south of the community center was redesigned and resurfaced, allowing for 20 additional parking stalls.

On Nov. 5, Mayor Robert Hale and members of the city council were able to see the interior of the revitalized community center for the first time.

“This is a good addition to our city,” Hale said. “A great place to be, four seasons of the year.”