Seniors have endorsed conceptual drawings for a new spacious and versatile seniors’ social centre that’s part of a major upgrade planned for the Stettler Recreation Centre.
“I saw genuine, constructive interest, because we had a good turnout with more than 80 people,” said Town of Stettler Coun. Malcolm Fischer, who chairs the committee with the County of Stettler and seniors’ users groups.
“It’s good to create the best for everyone at the most economical cost.”
Presented during a community forum in the new home in the conference room upstairs Tuesday afternoon, seniors approved architect John Hall’s drawings “to create a warm and inviting space in a room,” with an opportunity to make the room versatile and functional.
“It will be open and bright and makes best use of the space available,” said County of Stettler Reeve Wayne Nixon, a senior.
Under the plan, the entryway would feature glass walls with a small social area on the left, a pool room in the current storage area, a serving kitchen, a wooden floor for dancing and floor games, a raised ceiling to help improve sound acoustics, and a portable stage.
Both the town and county and the architect invite further suggestions in the coming months.
“The more ideas we get, the more we can incorporate,” Hall said.
Ventilation and sound acoustics, parking and an elevator seemed to be the main concerns expressed as the project progresses.
The SRC project calls for 32 more parking spaces for the west side of the building and 43 on the east side, currently a grassy berm.
After costs have been determined and plans finalized by the town and county councils, the seniors’ centre could be opened for the coming Christmas.
“This part could be completed this fall,” said Fischer, who agreed with the architect’s timeline.
User groups supported the plans.
“I think you will get more seniors coming here, because it will be more open and more inviting,” said Elaine Williams, active in bridge events that include tournaments that draw about 100 people.
“It has a lot of room and won’t cost a lot of money,” said Don Vallet, who was one of the seniors who toured other seniors’ centres last year.
“It will certainly help bring seniors’ groups together,” said Stettler’s Fern Borgel, area director for Stettler for Alberta 55-Plus Games.
Both of those seniors were happy that the facility could be open before Christmas.
The larger space would provide ample room to host large events such as cribbage tournaments and dances, while two adjoining smaller rooms would allow for work spaces such as quilting and a pool room.
While the room will become a seniors’ centre, it will also be available to other groups for various events and activities, Fischer said.
By locating the seniors centre into that location, seniors will benefit from “the SRC advantage,” said Lee Penner, the town’s director of parks and leisure services.