The Highlands Ranch Metro District will begin exploring the possibility of a temporary senior center after its board approved the idea in an Aug. 25 meeting.
While the metro district originally planned to build a standalone center for seniors, the project was put on pause after COVID-19 struck the state. In May, the board decided to put the senior center aside until the beginning of next year when their budget team hopes to have a better sense of how their revenues have been affected by the virus outbreak.
Metro district staff gave the board of directors a presentation about the possible options for an interim senior center including leasing a space and remodeling an existing metro district building.
The board voted to hire an architect and begin preliminary plans for renovating the Fly’n B House, a historic building in Fly‘n B Park.
About $770,000 of Douglas County funds have already been earmarked for the project and must be spent on it, said Stephanie Stanley metro district finance director.
“We planned to renovate that anyway ... It’s a win-win because we get to proceed with that renovation and have it for private rentals but also expand some of our senior programming,” Stanley said.
Once staff has a cost estimate for the project, the board will decide on whether or not to move into the construction phase.
If the project moves forward, the metro district would have to add at least 60 more parking spaces, said Carrie Ward, the Highlands Ranch director of parks, recreation and open space.
Ward expects that the building could host between 50 to 70 people for activities. The building would have restrooms, a small kitchen, a multipurpose space and an outdoor patio.
Planning and zoning for the project would take place through most of 2021 and construction would begin at the end of that year, according to a staff presentation. The building would open to the public at the end of 2022, according to the presumed timeline.
Ward noted that so far, seniors aren’t interested in large group activities due to their heightened vulnerability to COVID-19. The hope is that by the time this building would be finished, there will be a vaccine and the virus won’t be as much of a threat, Stanley said.
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