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Day centre to reopen after £450,000 overhaul
FIVE years ago it faced closure, but tomorrow a disabled day care centre in Southampton will reopen after a £450,000 overhaul.
City mayor Ivan White will officially reopen Sembal House at 11.30am after refurbishment work to bring its facilities up to date.
In 2008 there were fears that the facility, which caters for about 120 people with disabilities and mental health issues, would be closed as part of a modernisation of the council’s adult services by the then Conservative administration.
But those plans were overturned and instead a decision to refurbish the facility in Handel Terrace was taken by Tory council chiefs in 2012.
The refurbishment has created new offices to house the City Care First Support team, while a new cafe and gathering space has been built in the main foyer.
There are two new changing places and toilets with extra features and more space, while there are also new activity rooms, including an IT suite and ceramics room.
The entire building has also been redecorated as part of the overhaul, which was carried out by Portsmouth-based firm Mountjoy.
Council health chief Dave Shields said: “I am delighted to support this historic reopening. Sembal House is an important day service for people with disabilities in Southampton, which is why the council has invested nearly half a million pounds to refurbish this facility.
“The refurbishment work has been done sensitively to ensure that the spirit of the building remains but now has new life and opportunities breathed into it.
“This refurbishment will enable us to continue to provide a high quality service for Southampton residents with physical disabilities and mental health needs, as well as house the team that supports people in their own homes to regain independence.
“We have been able to provide a new café and specialised disabled toilets that are also open to the public. We now have an amazing facility fit for the 21st century.”
Tracy Baker, chairman of the Sembal House clients committee, said: “The refurbishment has been done in such a way that it has retained the building’s character and appeal.”
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