City and state officials joined board members of the Chester Boys and Girls Club this morning to dedicate the George E. Carter Center in the 200 block of East 7th Street.
"It's a safe haven, it's a learning center, it's a recreational center, and just a place to hang out," Mayor Wendell Butler said.
The new center features a gym along with a computer center, library and study area, and fitness center.
It replaces a cramped, aging rec center that the Boys and Girls Club had been using for well over 30 years.
It's named after retired executive director George Carter, who worked with the club for more than 50 years.
"I'm really glad to see it happen because this is something that's sorely needed in Chester," program director Willie Dejamette said.
Students from Chester who had the opportunity to check out the new center said they couldn't wait to tell their friends about it and spend time there.
"I enjoy it so far, it's more open space than the last one and it's more a safe environment than it was," Diamond Pless said.
The center came in under budget at $3.8-million instead of $4-million. It's still a big investment, but officials are hoping it will pay dividends far into the future.