Planning to Update Aging Senior Center Enters Next Phase

An aerial view of the current senior center site. The city has been exploring options for revamping or rebuilding the center after two years of pushing by community members.

Another phase in the development of the future senior center took place recently, with the city soliciting input from residents who have pressed for an update to the facility for two years.

The city released a Power Point in the study of possibilities for the new center, but many features remain to be settled.

  • Will the old center make way for a completely new building or be revamped? 
  • Should it be an expanded one-story facility or two stories?
  • Where would additional parking spaces be located?

The planning probably will not be without contention. A suggestion that nearby tennis courts be removed for parking drew groans from the 60 people who attended the Thursday meeting to discuss the survey results.

Others were concerned that if new parking is featured it will be filled up by Coronado High School students arriving in the morning before seniors.

The city surveyed more than 300 residents, most between 50 and 69 years of age with at least $100,000 in household income. Almost 70 percent were retirees and more than half have lived in Coronado for 25 years or more.

The findings included:

  • A large majority, 80 percent, who labeled the center as important or very important to the community.
  • Of those who attend the center, 27 percent said they go about once a month, while another 27 percent use it two or three times a week or more. 
  • A third said they had never used the senior center. More than 20 percent each said they didn’t do so because the facility is “not designed for healthy, active people,” or that its programs aren’t varied enough.
  • The most popular programs at the center include the ice cream social, monthly luncheon, holiday party and lawn bowling.
  • New programs sought are for fitness, including yoga and tai chi, arts and literature, current events discussions and memory strengthening exercises.

For the full Power Point, see the media box above.

In addition, 12 residents helped the project along by serving on an advisory committee.

Top city officials attended for at least part of the meeting, including City Manager Blair King and council members Al Ovrom and Richard Bailey.

The meeting was run by architects Chris Ackerman and Robert Coffee and consultant Pamela Austin. They plan to submit a report to the city, followed by possible design concepts.

You still have a chance to be part of the planning. More community meetings are set for Ackerman and Coffee to receive input from local clubs and organizations.