Colleyville reviews senior center plans

03/10/2014 1:10 PM

03/10/2014 1:11 PM

City leaders have heard renovation options for the city’s senior center but are not ready to choose one.

Hidell and Associates Architects, contracted by the city, proposed plans for the center at the Feb. 4 pre-City Council meeting.

“I know we need to do something but I don't know if it’s a total renovation or new add-on,” said Mayor David Kelly.

Hidell’s Aaron Babcock presented plans to renovate the center at 2512 Glade Road, and open it to more age groups and activities. The goal is to find ways to meet community recreation needs without decreasing opportunities for adults 50 and up.

“If it is a traditional senior center, it’s not going to work, especially with your demographic,” Babcock told the council. “You have to change the way it looks and feels.”

Babcock said the center has to be a place where people want to hang out.

The center, once a church, occupies 10,200 square feet, with an annex building. It has open rooms, a computer lab, a kitchen and fitness capabilities.

The rooms are very narrow, which limits the type and size of group activities. The renovations would open corridors, create a club room exclusive to seniors, build more rectangular shapes into floor plans and add restrooms.

Babcock presented cost estimates from $1.8 million to $2.3 million.

“Do you build and they will come?” Kelly asked the council. “Is the demand there to justify the costs or are you still going to get the same base?”

Councilman Stan Hall said seniors are happy with the center as it is.

“If we spend even half of what you’re projecting, are we going to attract an additional demographic to make it worthwhile?” he asked.

City staff has identified funding sources, including some that could be used only for similar parks and recreation projects.

Before the presentation Babcock and associates spent months gathering information from residents and similar programs in other cities.

Program such as Southlake, North Richland Hills and Keller reported having 500 Colleyville-resident members.

About 200-250 Colleyville residents are members of the senior center.

The hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, plus 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Some citizens said the hours don’t fit in with their schedules, especially those who work. Babcock suggested extending night hours and creating a 6-9 p.m. schedule on Monday and Thursdays.

Research also showed that potential users are interested in individual fitness and group exercise. Some of the activities currently offered include educational lunches and local trips.

City Manager Jennifer Fadden said staff will bring the discussion back for a budget work session in May.

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