One of the reasons folks move to Myakka City is the vast, open spaces and the elbow room it offers in a country setting.
There is a community spirit in the little community that’s readily apparent in parental support for Myakka Elementary School events, the annual Christmas parade, or in tough times, such as when Hurricane Charley blew through a few years ago, or pride in the local fire department.
The community has long desired an adequate community center, however, large enough to accommodate children’s summer camp, events for seniors and community gatherings.
And it looks like Myakka will finally get its heart’s desire.
The Manatee County Commission has approved spending $550,000 to design and build a community center.
The new center could be constructed and open by Christmas 2010 near its current location on Wauchula Road, next door to a community treasure that is being restored: the 1914 wooden school house.
The community center would offer programs and services, including before- and after-school childcare, programs for teenagers and seniors, and library services. In the past, the community center had to borrow or rent space for some of its special programs.
Other area organizations would be able to use the building for meetings.
Ginki Miller, who served as executive director for the Myakka City Community Center for 15 years and is now retired, was pleased with the news.
“I started the very first year I was there in 1993 and said please, we need a building,” Miller said.
Community center or no community center, residents tend to be loyal and proud of their community.
“Even though it is a big widespread area it has a community feeling,” Pam Green said.
“Everybody really bands together for each other.”
What many residents appreciate about their town is its environment for raising children.
Many couples tell stories of moving here to start a family. Green and other residents have also formed the Myakka City Action Committee to ensure the town’s desires are considered as growth inevitably moves eastward.