Richardson officials expect to reopen newly renovated senior center this summer

Building.
Work is still underway outside the newly renovated Richardson Senior Center. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)

Work is still underway outside the newly renovated Richardson Senior Center. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)

After more than a year of work, Richardson officials expect to open the city's newly renovated senior center June 1.

Voters approved nearly $5 million in renovations to the Richardson Senior Center as part of the city’s 2015 bond package. Construction began in the early spring of last year, shortly before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The center, which is located at the corner of Arapaho Road and West Shore Drive, has served Richardson residents age 55 and older since 1993. Updates to the building were designed to improve services, safety and efficiency in the aging building, which opened as a bank in 1965.

When the senior center reopens, it will have modified hours of 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, Parks and Recreation Director Lori Smeby told Richardson City Council during an April 26 work session.

“We'll continue to monitor the use and adapt those capacity levels and hours if needed as we see the normal use patterns start to emerge,” Smeby said. “But it's still going to be incredibly important that we maintain safe practices.”


As part of her presentation to council, Smeby explained city staff is recommending a new age-based tier structure for the senior center for new resident memberships as well as current and new nonresident memberships.

“About 33% of what we call our active membership at the senior center has been nonresidents,” she said. “They’re are very, very important part of ... the thread of friends, if you will, that weave in and out of that building. So we recognize their importance, [and] we're happy to have them there.”

The proposed fee structure would see those ages 50-54 paying $25 per year for a new resident membership or $50 per year for a nonresident membership. Seniors ages 55-79 would be charged $15 per year for a new resident membership or $30 per year for a nonresident membership. Those age 80 and up would be charged $5 per year for a new resident membership and $10 per year for a nonresident membership.

Seniors who previously purchased a $5 lifetime membership for the center before it closed last year would not be charged any fees for their continued membership.

“[Adopting this structure] would allow us to maintain the model of nonresident fees that are essentially double those that are paid by Richardson residents,” Smeby said. “We're also proposing that we reduce the age for eligible membership at the senior center to 50 years old.”

Council plans to consider the new membership structure and fee schedule during its May 3 meeting.
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is the senior reporter for the Plano and Richardson editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


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