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Surprise, Maricopa County to build $26 million multigenerational center

The city of Surprise and Maricopa County will spend federal coronavirus relief funds to build a multigenerational community resource center

“When we say community centers, some people think of just after school programs and recreational opportunities, and this is intentionally beyond that,” Seth Dyson, Surprise’s human resource and community vitality director said. “There absolutely will be some of that on-site, but there will also be a lot of office space, caseworkers, social workers, and other governmental entities that will share space with us.”

The center will be built on city-owned land at Hollyhock Street and Santa Fe Drive, the site of Surprise’s original town site and in one of the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods. In addition to programs focused on workforce development, health and wellness, housing and homelessness, the campus will offer library services and meals and activities for older adults.

“We don't want to silo people, we want to bring the community together,” Dyson said. “Kiddos from Head Start can program with our seniors and come together in joint programming.”

Maricopa County will contribute $18 million from its portion of the American Rescue Plan Act, known as ARPA, while Surprise will commit $8 million from ARPA and the city’s general fund.

“I know decades and decades of people will be able to have better, higher quality of life with the programs and services,” Dyson said.

Scheduled to open in 2025, the center will also serve people from Sun Cities, El Mirage and Youngtown. Next to the center, the county plans to build about100 apartments for low-income seniors. 

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.