The Work Activity Center has thrown a housewarming party to celebrate the latest development in its 30-year history.

Public officials from the city, county and state, as well as family and friends, turned out en masse at the ribbon cutting."You may wonder why there are both Democrats and Republicans here," gubernatorial candidate Ted Wilson said. "Well, there are some good things we all believe in."

Twenty staff members serve 117 developmentally disabled adults at the center. The disabilities include physical and motor impairment, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and more. Open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays except holidays, the center contracts with private businesses to bring repetitive and assembly type work for clients who cannot, for various reasons, go into public work places.

Clients also produce a variety of ceramic and craft projects, learn supervised community-work skills like housecleaning and kitchen work, receive social development training, therapy and recreation. The center is funded by grants and contributions, so there is no charge to clients, and transportation is provided if needed. The center also operates a community-living program that allows a few clients to live independently, with support system backup.

The new facility, 1275 W. 2320 South, is currently being leased, but the center board is working to raise the money necessary to purchase the building, among other projects. Officials are within $200,000, of their fund-raising goal, said Opal Clarke, executive director.

"When we left the old county complex," Clarke said, "we were on a rickety stepladder and needed a lot of support for a safe climb. The first to support us was Salt Lake County. Then all the cities in the valley helped. I think we're going to make it."

The center features a ceramics room, complete with kiln, a multipurpose center, training kitchen, sick room, exercise area with equipment such as weight sets, work rooms, a patio and administration areas. A sign by the door seems to capture the place:

There was no single, breathtaking feature: It was the harmony and grace of the whole that so impressed us. - Joe McGinness.