AFTER two years of rebuilding and months of delays, the new Dean Court Community Centre is set to open to the public.

The centre, in Pinnocks Way, was destroyed in a suspected arson attack in February 2011, nine months after it was closed.

And in June last year it was targeted by thieves who stole wood going to be used as planters in the new centre.

Oxford Mail:

After the blaze in February 2011

The new £430,000 building was due to be finished by Christmas, but construction delays mean the centre should now be finished by the end of the month.

Community fun days on Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, will celebrate the opening.

Cumnor Primary School teacher Anna Pearson, 30, of Pinnocks Way, has been part of the four-year project to re-open the building.

The chairwoman of Dean Court Community Association said: “Having spent years of looking at all the shapes of it on paper and deciding where to put the walls and dreaming about how to make it brilliant, you can’t imagine what it is like to now have an official opening date.

“The most exciting bit was seeing the walls go up. I could suddenly see the plans we had been poring over for months and months actually becoming a reality.”

The walls are being painted and carpets need fitting alongside a couple of finishing touches.

The building has a main hall, kitchen, children’s room, and two smaller meeting rooms – one which could be a base for the local Police Community Support Officer.

A tae kwondo club, zumba group, Brownies and Scout groups and a homework club could be launched in the centre when it opens.

Most of the rebuild costs were covered by insurance, with £35,000 coming from fundraising.

Oxfordshire County Council's Big Society fund also contributed £15,600, a Vale of White Horse District Council grant gave £2,000 for kitchen equipment and Barnard Kenneth Hufton Charity gave £1,000 for tables and chairs.

A grant of £1,500 from Sovereign Housing Association will cover costs to organise the celebrations .