Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Community Voices: Plans to Manage and Build a New Adult/Senior Center Facility

As members of the Coronado Senior Association and members of the Coronado Lawn Bowling Club, we are using this letter to let City Council Members and Members of the Community know why we are in full support of the City moving forward with the plans to replace the Adult/Senior Center Facility on the corner of 7th and D Avenue. First, we are aware that City Staff has done a good job in researching and developing plans consistent with the needs and desires of the citizens of Coronado. We have been involved directly and tangentially in the architects efforts to listen and respond with well thought out sample plans.

Now, as the saying goes, “the Devil is in the Details.” There are at least two major decisions still to be made by Coronado City Council Members on Tuesday, November 19: (a) selection of the management model for the facility and (b) selection of a plan for the facility.

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(a) Selection of the Management Model. The Council took a good first step related to the management model at the meeting on November 5 by hearing the presentation made by Linda Rahn, Director of Recreation Services, with the recommendation for Management Model 4 (City/Nonprofit Partnership) for the new facility.

In order to explain why Management Model 4, recommended by Linda Rahn, is the best and maybe the only workable model for the new facility, we need to cite some sociological research summarized by Dr. Jill Novak (Texas A&M University) as well as others. As Dr. Novak presented, sociologists suggest there are currently 6 generations living in the United States. As a generalization, each generation has different likes, dislikes, and attributes.
Judging by remarks made in the Council meeting on November 5, some members of the community and some City Council members are incorrectly focusing on serving the needs of just two of the generations: the “GI/Greatest Generation” (born 1901-1926) and the “Mature/Silents” (born 1927-1945). Some individuals, however, are beginning to realize that the “Baby Boomers” (born 1946-1964) are also asking for recognition and that their interests and needs be met.

Clearly, the interests and needs of the “Baby Boomers” are different from the previous generations and they are currently the largest generation in terms of overall numbers. So, now we have three different generations with vastly different interests that will need to be served in the same facility. In addition, we must remember that before any facility is completed, “Generation X” (born 1965-1980) will start turning 50 years old (in two years) with every right to have their interests and needs served in the new facility by recreation staff educated in providing programming for now possibly four generations. Before we get too complacent, remember that “Generation Y” will be 50 years old in 18 years with a whole bunch of other interests and expectations.

In case our point has been lost, let us summarize and emphasize, Management Model 4 (City/Nonprofit Partnership) is the best and maybe the only workable model for the new facility. This model has the greatest potential because it includes recreation staff with the education and ability to provide flexible programming for the diverse consumers in the four different generations.

(b) Selection of a Plan for the Facility. Now, on to the selection of a plan for the facility. Using the same research as a base, this facility will need flexibility and space to provide for varied activities that are of interest to at least four generations now and two more to come in the future. Space and flexibility are probably the key components in having a facility that can house possibly four generations at one time. We have reviewed the plans and have concluded that there is one plan that provides enough aesthetics, space, and flexibility along with outdoor areas to accommodate four generations and their varied interests and activities. The plan that is designed to have the facility abut the library along the northern boundary is the best. This plan is also particularly attractive because it allows extra outside patio space between the facility and the lawn bowling green. From a selfish standpoint, in our opinions, it also seems to provide the best space for storage of equipment used for maintenance of the Lawn Bowling Green. Finally, this plan serves Coronado well by further beautifying another one of its already lovely parks.

Now is the time to select and approve a management model (Management Model 4—City/Nonprofit Partnership), an architectural plan (the one that abuts the library), and move forward with them. Please listen closely to those who have spent the time and made the effort to be informed about this project over the last three years that it has been under development.
Community Support is Needed. On November 19, the City Council will be reviewing plans and making decisions related to selecting a Management Model and an architectural plan for the new Adult/Senior Center facility. Also included in the new facility will be space for a Lawn Bowling “Clubhouse.”

We are asking that Members of the Community attend the meeting. Over 500 Members of the Community of all ages attended the Lawn Bowling Club’s open twilight bowling this summer on Thursday evenings. Those who did saw first-hand that we had only a closet storage space and no “clubhouse” at all. Your attendance at the Council Meeting will demonstrate to our City Council that you are in favor of moving ahead with plans to replace the Senior center facility with a new facility to include a lawn bowling “clubhouse”. If you cannot attend the scheduled meeting, please write a short email or letter to Council Members to express your opinion about moving ahead with a new facility and of putting it on a fast track as was done with the Coronado City Hall and Community Center a few years ago. The earliest discussions regarding this project began in the 1980’s so it is very long overdue.

We want to thank all of you in advance for providing support by writing an email or letter to our City Council members, and/or attending the November 19 Council Meeting.

Robert Grobe, Ph.D.&
Berie Grobe, Ph.D.
Coronado Senior Association & Coronado Lawn Bowling Club

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