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ANKENY, Iowa — The City of Ankeny and a couple hundred people formally opened the new Albaugh Family Senior Community Center on Monday. After years of discussion and planning, the new center was built at 150 NW Ash Drive near the bandshell and fire station, close to the area that holds Ankeny’s farmers’ market.

“When we were researching on a lot of what we were going to offer, what the county offers for their services, we could not find any in the state that were anything close to what we are opening this week,” said Nick Lenox, Ankeny Parks & Recreation director.

“This will now make eight senior centers we operate in Polk County,” said Steve Van Oort of the Polk County Board of Supervisors. “We feed over a thousand seniors every day.”

In addition to the congregate meals and other senior services, they also offer physical activity.

“As Ankeny continues to grow with young families … we’re continuing to support the seniors in our community,” said Lenox. “We have a great partnership with Polk County, putting money towards our senior services. What we did was took a senior typical senior center and we added a gymnasium to it with a second floor, a walking track and a lot of additional social amenities.”

The new center cost over $7 million. Polk County paid $3.5 million and the Albaugh family gave $500,000, while the City of Ankeny paid the rest.

The center is open to serve all ages for the physical fitness amenities. It is now accepting memberships in the fitness center, which includes basketball, pickleball, a running track, cardio workout, a weightlifting station, bocce ball and shuffleboard. There is also a golf simulator where people can hit a golf ball into a screen showing golf courses in faraway locales.

For more about the Albaugh Family Senior Community Center, click here