SHEBOYGAN – After much anticipation, the new Uptown Social community center is ready to serve the Sheboygan area. The official grand opening is on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 a.m., but the center, dubbed “Sheboygan’s Hub for Active Seniors” opened for a special members-only preview this week.
The new facility, which was designed for adults 55 years and older but is open to all ages, has a café, game room, creative studio, activity room, indoor walking track, library, hospitality room and administrative space totaling 15,580 square feet.
The second phase of construction will include a gym, fitness/equipment room and additional restrooms totaling 5,653 square feet. Uptown Social also has 5,325 square feet of space set aside for future expansion, and 5,293 square feet of available tenant space.
The center, which occupies the former Save-A-Lot supermarket building at 1817 N. 8th St. in Sheboygan, was renovated by contractor J.H. Hassinger of Menomonee Falls, who bid $3.482 million to complete the project.
“They have been fantastic to work with, and we’ve just been thrilled with their communication throughout the whole process. The quality of their work has been phenomenal,” said Uptown Social Director of Senior Services Emily Rendall-Araujo about J.H. Hassinger.
Funding for the first phase of construction came from a low-interest federal Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant loan and American Rescue Plan Act dollars. The second phase of construction will be funded by a commitment from Friends of Uptown Social, a 501c3 organization dedicated to raising funds to subsidize operations.
According to Rendall-Araujo, Uptown Social is not only garnering attention locally, but it is also gaining rave reviews from outside Sheboygan.
“The investment that Sheboygan is making in this population is really exceptional, and I’m starting to receive calls from other communities asking how we did this, and any tips we can give them on how they can do it too. It’s just really exciting, and I think Sheboygan has a lot to be proud of,” said Rendall-Araujo.
Most activities at Uptown Social are free and open to the public between the center’s regular hours of 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Friday, but there are also opportunities for membership.
City and Town of Sheboygan residents can purchase a yearly membership for $30, while non-residents can join for $35. Memberships provide discounts on various paid programs such as fitness and art classes, access to special members-only events, and a print newsletter.
For more information about Uptown Social, visit www.uptownsocial.org.