Sedalia Parks & Recreation Director Amy Epple gave a private tour Thursday afternoon to a small group of a half-dozen people eager to see the progress being made at the Heckart Community Center, located at Liberty Park Boulevard and South Limit.

The tour came exactly four months before the scheduled opening of the Heckart on March 18.

One of those individuals taking the tour was Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Bloess, who said he was very happy with the progress he saw at the facility.

“I'm really happy with it, I'm just so excited to see what's going to happen. As people come in, it's really gratifying to see their eyes light up, and their jaws drop a little bit,” Bloess said after a 45-minute tour.

There have been many discussions about building a community center in Sedalia for decades, and the dream is finally becoming a reality for Bloess.

“I have a big history with the Park Board back in the '90s, and we always had a lot of summertime activities. But this thing puts it all together for the people of Sedalia and surrounding communities,” Bloess said. “You know now, we can offer recreation and a variety of different things year-round. That's really significant, because this time of year, when we looked at our activities in the parks years ago, about the first of November, it really trailed off. But this facility will let us keep people busy and really benefit the community year-round,” Bloess said.

The Councilman added that he expects to see a lot of activity and competition in the pool in the summertime and other tournaments in the gym at the Heckart, which will bring a lot of commerce to Sedalia. “We will really see an economic impact,” Bloess said.