After a nearly 14-month closure, city officials celebrated the opening of Richardson’s newly renovated Senior Center at a June 25 ribbon-cutting.

Voters approved nearly $5 million in renovations to the Richardson Senior Center as part of the city’s 2015 bond package. The project ended up costing closer to $8 million, city Assistant Director of Engineering Jim Dulac told Community Impact Newspaper in December.

Construction began in the early spring of last year, shortly before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

While the footprint of the building did not change, the layout is now more open, which allows members to feel connected to the different activities happening in the space, Program and Senior Center Manager Beth Owens said.

Among the upgrades are a bigger fitness room, an enlarged kitchen and dining area, two large multipurpose rooms with movable walls, bigger classrooms and a drive-up covered entrance.

Owens said the center’s members are thrilled to be able to return to the facility after a year of social isolation.

“They were so ready to come back, not just to see the building, but to see their friends again and to have some sort of structure in their day,” she said.

At a May 3 meeting, City Council voted to approve a new tiered fee structure for annual memberships that ranges between $5 and $50 per year, depending on age and whether the member is a resident of Richardson. Owens said about 30% of the center’s members are nonresidents.

“It’s great to be able to see the older population take an active role in the community and to stay active,” Owens said.

The center is currently open with modified hours of Monday-Friday from 8 p.m.-4 p.m. Owens said the shift back to normal hours will be determined based on the demand and the health of the community.

For more information on the center, visit this link.