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A Goddess workout class is demonstrated during an opening house held at the new Community Center in Pleasant Hill, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group)

PLEASANT HILL -- While those in attendance at Sunday's grand opening of the Pleasant Hill Community Center have been wishing for rain, they said that at least for this one special day they were glad to be graced with springlike weather instead.

Visitors came in droves, eagerly anticipating the opening of the 21,800-square-foot wood-and-glass facility, with ample visual access to the surrounding trees.

"Do you remember the old Community Center and the great events we held at that building?" said Sherry Sterrett, chairwoman of the Pleasant Hill Recreation and Park District board of directors. "Look around and see our new wonderful building, the warm décor and the all the events we'll be having here."

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the "Who's Who" of Pleasant Hill, the public walked through the doors of the center that was the result of the successful passage of the Measure E bond in August 2009, which also enabled the construction of the recreation district's Teen Center, and the Senior Center, which opened a year ago.

As visitors strolled through the six multipurpose rooms and preschool wing, most of them gravitated to the huge Perera Pavilion, the main event room, to listen to music, sample food from local sponsors, and stop at booths that highlighted the programs for all ages offered by the district.

Tina Young, recreation superintendent, said the large event room, that can accommodate about 380 people, is similar in size to the old one. Literary Women, a sellout annual event, will now be able to increase its attendance this year, Young said.

"The Perera Pavilion can be separated into three separate spaces," she noted.

The preschool wing alone offers three unique classrooms. Since the old Community Center closed in 2010, classes have been housed in various venues around the city -- including churches and the Winslow Center -- as the new Senior Center was being built. Some adult classes moved to the Senior Center after its grand opening in January 2013.

While a multitude of programs will be offered at the new Community Center, a number will still remain at the Winslow Center and Senior Center.

Young said that more than 1,500 people attended the "soft opening," which was more of a celebration, as it will take about two more weeks before classes start. She said she received lots of praise from visitors, many of whom anticipate attending classes or planning an event at the new Community Center.

For decades, recreation district programs have drawn participants from all over Central County. While Concord resident Elizabeth Slater likes the recreation programs Concord offers, she said that the Pleasant Hill Seniors Club is "the best in the world."

"I think the Community Center is something everyone's needed for a long time," said Florence Denison, whose granddaughter, Kendra Luke, is the Senior Center supervisor. "It's the most beautiful building in the city."

Madhu Bashakarla's son attended preschool at the old center.

"It's totally different than the old building," Bashakarla said. "My family's been eagerly waiting for this day. We like how the new preschool classrooms are organized."

Visitors observed or participated in various demonstrations given by the instructors in fencing, salsa dancing and yoga.

Allison Klippel, who's been teaching Pilates for the district for many years, said the opening of the new center will hopefully attract more students.

"It's gorgeous, nice and airy," Klippel said about the building. "It's inviting and bright."

She said the lighting in the building creates a warm ambience for classes.

Klippel's 16-year-old daughter, Brenna, a member of the Teen Council, said having three new recreation buildings in Pleasant Hill, where she grew up, ensures the district maintains its quality programs for several more years for people of all ages.

City dignitaries bring in the big scissors during the grand opening ceremony held  at the new Community Center in Pleasant Hill, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 26,
City dignitaries bring in the big scissors during the grand opening ceremony held at the new Community Center in Pleasant Hill, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. Demonstrations of classes were ongoing during the day along with various types of foods and things to see. (Susan Tripp Pollard/Bay Area News Group) ( SUSAN TRIPP POLLARD )

"It's nice to know we have these resources in the community for us," Brenna said. "The new buildings' benefit to the community is that it helps everyone stay connected. It's nice to see that no matter what you do, there's something here for everyone."