Colleyville citizens discuss ways to increase Senior Center Usage

Posted Monday, Jun. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Rebranding and increased hours of operation may be the keys to attracting more members to the Colleyville Senior Center.

More than 30 center members and residents attended a public meeting last week to gather information and share opinions about how to improve the center.

In April, the city hired Hidells and Associates Architects to make recommendations for improving the facility. Aaron Babcock, an architect with the Carrollton-based company, said his company’s goal is to propose ideas that would offer more services to a larger portion of the community without ignoring the seniors’ needs at the center, located on 2512 Glade Road.

Babcock said the center is the city’s only facility for the community, and his team hopes to find ways for groups of all ages to benefit from the space.

He said research indicates the median age in Colleyville is 43, while the median age in Texas is 34. Based on those statistics, he said the center should be able to attract more adult members.

Babcock said changing the center’s name could be beneficial.

“Senior has a bad connotation,” said Pat Marshall, a Colleyville resident who suggested renaming it, “The Social Center.”

Babcock said a name change has worked in other cities. He cited Grand Prairie’s successful 50 and older club, The Summit, as an example.

Attendees were asked to suggest new activities and later the group voted on favorites.

Wine tasting was a hit.

Councilman Tom Hart said he was happy with the discussion.

“We needed this input as a council,” he said. “Wine tasting, I had not even thought about that.”

Hart echoed the sentiment to increase membership to the facility without ignoring the seniors.

“What I would like to find is a happy spot where we can grow,” he said.

The center, which was originally a church, hosts fitness, social and informative activities four days a week for the city’s senior community. Members don’t have to be residents of the city to partake in activities.

Colleyville resident Bill Goodman, 69, said he would go to the center if the hours were expanded. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. On Tuesday, it reopens from 5-9 p.m.

“I lost my wife a couple of years ago, and now I am trying to expand my horizons, become a little more social,” Goodman said.

The city has paid Hidells and Associates $2,800 for the consultation.

The company will make recommendations to the city in August.

Babcock said he is looking at short- and long-term goals. To achieve those changes within a reasonable budget, he said Hidells will most likely recommend making changes to the center’s operations in phases.

Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770

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