Leander officials are moving forward with the plan to award a contract for construction of the Senior Activity Center in early May, despite the estimated cost now being $3 million over the initial budget.

The update

The city sent the project out to bid for construction back in January. Recently, city staff received the bids back, and the lowest projected cost for construction was $9.5 million—a roughly 46% increase compared to the budgeted cost of $6.5 million according to city documents.

During the April 18 City Council meeting, Executive Director of Infrastructure Dan Grimsbo presented some options to cover the $3 million funding gap.

Council agreed staff’s recommended funding option was the best decision. City staff’s proposed option included pulling:
  • $1.4 million from the city’s general fund reserve funds
  • $500,000 from the budget used to acquire land for Leander Fire Station No. 6
  • $150,000 from the City Hall location analysis
  • $340,000 from the park fund to be used for the Mason Creek Trailhead
  • $610,000 from the park fund to be used for Old Town Park
Remember this?

A 2011 needs assessment determined a senior activity center was a medium priority for the community. In 2013, an interim center—run by Opportunities for Williamson and Burnet Counties—opened on Bagdad Road, according to previous Community Impact reporting.

Funding to cover the permanent center’s initial cost of $6.5 million is available through the city’s May 2016 bond.

The permanent Senior Activity Center will be located next to the Leander Public Works building at 611 Municipal Drive, Leander, and will include the following amenities:
  • A lobby with a seating area and fireplace
  • Library with a coffee cafe
  • Game room and large-screen TV
  • An activities room and multipurpose hall
  • Fitness center
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Special-use offices and clinics
Keep in mind

Council is expected to consider awarding a construction contract for the Senior Activity Center at its May 2 meeting.