It’s taken a while, but the newly expanded Lee Barta Community Center on Binghamton’s North Side is open.  The facility officially reopened April 26 thanks to a $500,000 project to more than double the size of the center.

The upgrades include a full-sized instructional kitchen, computer lab, a place for CHOW to sell fresh produce, an exercise area, community room and an expanded educational bicycle program.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The Center on Liberty Street had become too small to accommodate more and more programs.

The City had taken over blighted property next door to the original center, demolished the building and used the space for the expansion.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The community center is named after Binghamton Police Officer Lee Barta, who died in the line of duty on the same block on August 3, 1995.  He was just 29 years old.