Senior Center site in Old Town will be remade
March 15, 2013
City Hall officials are considering options for the Old Town land where the Park City Senior Center sits and progress toward making decisions about the site could be made during the summer.
The municipal government will include the Woodside Avenue site as long-range plans are developed for a section of the northern reaches of Old Town. Jonathan Weidenhamer, the economic development manager at City Hall, said by the middle of April officials want to hire a project manager for the site. By the end of July, he said, details will emerge about the plans and timeline. In a report late in 2012, City Hall said work could start as early as the spring of 2014.
The Park City Senior Center occupies an important location as ideas are considered for that section of Old Town. Weidenhamer said some of the ideas include tearing down or relocating the building itself and then redeveloping the site with a housing project intended for people of multiple generations. There is also an idea to build a senior citizen and community center at a nearby site along Park Avenue. That site is widely known as the location of a building that once served as a fire station. It is now under City Hall’s control.
"I think it’s a reinvestment in what I would call authentic community fabric," Weidenhamer said.
The ideas are being considered as part of a broader discussion about the area along lower Park Avenue and toward Park City Mountain Resort. There are ambitious ideas to remake that section of Park City through public and private investment. Weidenhamer said work at the site of the Park City Senior Center would be paid for through property-tax increments.
The efforts come as Park City is becoming a graying community. The people who moved to the city decades ago are retired or are reaching retirement age. Retirees, meanwhile, have been moving to Park City as well. There has been some concern that Park City does not offer a range of services or housing options for senior citizens.
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The programs of the Park City Senior Center will need to be relocated during any upcoming development work. Officials have offered the possibility of moving the programs to the third floor of the Park City Library and Education Center during the work.
Paul Wisniewski, a member of the Park City Senior Center, praised City Hall for being "very helpful and cooperative" as the discussions are ongoing. He said the inconvenience of relocating during the work will be temporary.
"They’re looking out for our best interests," he said.
Members of the Park City Senior Center meet on Mondays and Thursdays for exercise classes, to work on jigsaw puzzles and play bridge, the card game canasta and pool.
Wisniewski said the group wonders whether the temporary space in the Library and Education Center will be large enough. He said there are also worries about the space being upstairs at the Library and Education Center even with the facility’s elevator.
"We’re a little concerned we’re going to be cramped," he said.
Wisniewski, who lives at Deer Mountain and has lived in the area for 10 years, also said the Park City Senior Center has a nice kitchen while one will need to be built for the group at the Library and Education Center. His association with the Park City Senior Center started 15 years ago, during visits to Park City.
He said the group wants to be involved as the temporary space at the Library and Education Center is designed. He said talks have not started about a new facility.
"They seek our input and they listen to what we say," Wisniewski said.