4:27pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Senior Citizens Center Sites Evaluated

Lexington is in the market for a new senior citizens center.  The project’s been on the city’s wish list for years.  The search for a site has begun.  Lexington’s current Senior Citizens Center sits at the corner of Nicholasville road and Alumni Drive.   It’s an active spot during most days.  But, after three decades of wear and tear, city officials say modernizing it is not feasible.   And, if Lexington builds a new center, Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills says it should be built to last.

“I hope it’s not 30 years, this one won’t sit there for 30 years, but given the economy it very well could.  So, I think we should take our time and plan carefully and make sure this center is future proof,” said Mills.

Consultants are eyeing specific sites for a new center.  Council member Ed Lane believes it might be best to have two centers…a new one and the current facility on Nicholasville Road.

“I think I concur that we probably need more than one location in Fayette County because I think as people get older they also are less likely to drive as far and they may have some orientation issues too,” added Lane.

Gail Reece, who chairs the Senior Services Commission, wants to use the construction expertise of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

“I think it’s a great advantage that we have a mayor who’s been in this business for a long time so he knows also how to evaluate and he can appreciate the evaluations of consultants.  I think there will be a lot, we won’t please everyone, but I think we have to look at where the residential population is,” said Reece.

Possible sites are a vacant spot once home to a hotel on Harrodsburg Road and in the Beaumont Shopping area.  Some council members are interested in a lot on New Circle Road, once occupied by the Continental Inn.   Consultant Ellen Gallow said it too can be considered.

“With today’s, the input that was received today, we absolutely can apply the same lens to that piece of property that was applied to the others and we’ll see how it stacks up,” said Gallow.

What is known is Lexington’s working up plans for a 15-million dollar, 46 thousand square foot facility.   A new senior citizens center probably couldn’t be in operation before 20-15.