Seniors committed to finding a new home for the Stettler seniors’ centre have determined that the Stettler Recreation Centre is “the best site.”
During a meeting last week with council representatives from the Town of Stettler and the County of Stettler, seniors from various seniors’ groups suggested that the conference room on the upper floor of the Rec Centre is the most feasible location.
“The Stettler Recreation Centre is the best site that seniors suggested and supported,” Coun. Malcolm Fischer said during town council’s regular meeting last week.
“Things look promising.”
In a later interview with the Independent, Fischer said: “With funding conceivably available, this project can be initiated in the near future, rather than in the distant future.”
A larger seniors’ centre has become a top priority for both town and county, because the current facility — the Stettler and District Senior Citizens Drop-In Centre on 48 Street — is located in an industrial area in a two-storey building, with just three designated parking spaces on the street.
Since seniors shared their ideas at two forums in March, the steering committee has progressed with the project and visited various seniors’ centres in central Alberta to get further ideas and information.
“It’s really a collaborative spirit with the town and county and the seniors’ groups,” said Coun. Al Campbell.
“The synergies are unique, because it’s progressive,” said Mayor Dick Richards.
By locating the seniors’ centre at the community recreation centre, the arrangement would also expand programs for seniors, with the leisure pool, fitness centre, library and arenas, Richards said.
Since the room already has a spacious, functional kitchen, two smaller rooms and the main room, Coun. Fischer said it would move the project faster than having to construct a new building on land, which would require a high level of funding and take longer to build.
While the conference room is used extensively for other groups and events, he said the seniors would welcome opportunities to open the space for other community and private events.
While the user groups suggest the SRC as the top location, seniors at the planning sessions in March said the best facility would have plenty of parking within 100 feet of the building on one floor on ground level, with two or three rooms of various sizes.
Seniors groups, the steering committee and representatives of the town and county plan to meet soon to further discuss the project.
RICHARD FROESE, Independent reporter