(WMC-TV) - With the snip of the scissors, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and other area leaders unveiled the dawn of a new era for the Northaven community.
"In the last six months, we've seen a church commit to building a facility here," said Mayor Luttrell. "We've opened up a new fire station, we've taken this old fire station and converted it into a community center," he added.
Luttrell says community commitment has led to a renaissance in Northaven. The latest achievement: the grand opening of The Northwest Shelby County Community Center.
Northaven Neighborhood Association Vice President Aline Turner says the new community center will serve as a valuable resource for both children and adults.
"I think the whole neighborhood will be able to use this community center," Turner stated.
The center will hold GED classes, computers, daycare and more.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said this new outlet can help to serve as a tipping point to keep people out of the justice system.
"We hear it all the time, 'My young person joined a gang because there was nothing else to do'. We're giving you something. The excuses are ending because the community is coming together saying, 'Here are these other options for you,'" said Weirich.
Turner also says the sheriff and FBI are restoring the feeling of safety.
"It's one big step that's going to lead to larger steps for us," Turner explained, "many things are going on out here now and it's going to grow."
The community center will be open three days per week: Thursday and Friday from 1 to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.