Friday, June 2, 2023

City Design Team Asks Residents for Feedback on Senior Center – Groundbreaking Expected in 2015

The City of Coronado has cast wide net in developing plans to remodel the senior center.

It circulated a needs survey last December, which 323 people filled out.

Last week over 70 people turned out for a public meeting to learn the results and to offer more suggestions.

Given the challenges of the site and the center’s myriad of activities, the city’s design team of Chris Ackerman and Robert Coffee wanted to hear from as many residents as possible.

A grove of beloved and historic trees, a lawn bowling green and a public library surround the current center, which everyone says is too small.

Activities at the center currently range from bridge to yoga. Meals are served. Events, such as the annual holiday party and ice cream social, are hugely popular.

“Between 120-130 people attend the holiday party,” said Rick Burnett, Coronado Senior Center coordinator. “Fifty people come to lunch every day.”

Results of the need’s survey suggest seniors are interested in even more.

Seventy percent wanted yoga and tai chi; 63% wanted arts and language classes; 60% wanted activities to improve memory.

Then, there are the lawn bowlers. The green has been at the corner of Seventh Street and D Avenue for decades, with a lawn bowling club in Coronado since 1935. They hold monthly tournaments and the occasional social event at the center.

Architects Chris Ackerman and Robert Coffee are looking to design a building that serves both groups and mitigates any potential conflicts.

From the survey and meetings with a committee at the senior center they have sketched out key design components: a large multipurpose room, several classroom size rooms, and an entertainment stage for senior and general use; storage lockers and outdoor bathrooms for bowlers.

The public meeting generated a few more ideas for key design components including: lights on the green for night games, a rooftop patio to view tournaments and a teaching kitchen for cooking classes.

There was also support for a building that utilized both indoor and outdoor space. Several people mentioned the Tennis Center and The Coronado Club Room and Boathouse as examples of what they would like to see.

Coffee suggested a lanai as a way to expand without uprooting the trees. Others favored adding a second story.

This is not the last opportunity for the community to voice its druthers. Postcards were handed out for people to make additional suggestions.

In the coming weeks Ackerman and Coffee plan to meet separately with members of the senior center, the bowling club and city staff before developing a plan, including a budget, to present to the City Council.

Recreation Director Linda Rahn expects the process to take two more years. “I’m looking to break ground in 2015,” she said.

While there has been ongoing discussion with seniors, bowlers, city staff and a community-wide survey, the design team is still reaching out.

At the end of the public meeting Ackerman asked: “Is there anyone else we should be talking to?”

For the upcoming City Council meeting agendas, information and more, click here.

Related: Coronado Senior Center Website


Gloria Tierney
Staff Writer

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Gloria Tierney
Gloria Tierney
A freelance writer in San Diego for more than 30 years. She has written for a number of national and international newspapers, including the Times of London, San Diego Tribune, Sierra Magazine, Reuters News Service and Patch.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]