Plans are finally under way for a new Senior Citizens Center in Altus. Citizens passed a sales tax issue in August 2008 to complete a variety of projects including a new City Complex, fire station and a senior citizens activity center. The City of Altus earmarked $1.5 million of the money to be utilized for the new senior citizens center. At the present time, seniors gather at the old Wilson School, but plans are finally being made for the new location.
The first proposed location for a new center was to be at the corner of East Commerce and North Grady (the old police station site). Numerous meetings involving the City of Altus, staff of the Senior Citizen Center, and the design team of Boynton Williams & Associates from Norman were held. Ideas were shared along with research, and a final decision was made. The new center would not be at the old police station site.
The Dr. Morris F. Foster Library, a 47-year-old building still in very sound structural condition, and shape, located on the Altus High School Campus, has been determined to be the new Altus Senior Activity Center location.
The City of Altus engineering technician, Phillip W. Beauchamp said, “The preliminary designs are under way, and we are very excited with our project.”
The 8,000 sq. ft. building renovation will include a spacious new kitchen with a new cooking range and dishwasher, and will be fully equipped for food service. Beauchamp said that the staff applied for and received a grant to help purchase the kitchen equipment. The building will also get a back door leading out to a back driveway, thereby making it easier for the pick up and delivery of Meals on Wheels for home bound Seniors. They currently delivery about 70 meals a day.
There will also be a beautiful dining room to accommodate in-house dining. There are currently about 80 to 100 people that use the facility on a day-to-day basis. The new activity lounge will be fully carpeted and will have a fireplace. All bathrooms will be ADA accessible, and a designated area for physical activity will be included.
A major benefit of the new Altus Senior Activity Center will be the ease of access for front area parking off of Park Lane which includes handicap parking. The overall safety of the new site is a major benefit as well. The new site is also in close proximity to the swimming pool and the park.
Construction will begin in the Spring of 2016. The estimated time line for completion is Spring of 2017.
“Mayor Jack Smiley and City Manager David Fuqua were positively aggressive on their mission to get started on this project,” said Beauchamp. Beauchamp also gave praise to Boynton Williams and Associates for their working professionalism.
“Everyone is very excited, and look forward to Seniors having a fresh new location for gathering,” Beauchamp added.
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext. 2077