Following the approval of the city’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget in September, which included $2 million to build a new senior activity center, Humble city officials said they hope to complete the project by the first half of 2023.

According to City Manager Jason Stuebe, the city’s former senior activity center was an aging facility with numerous structural issues concerning the foundation; roof; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Additionally, the facility was originally built as a church, meaning the layout was not entirely conducive to being used as a senior activity center.

“During the height of the pandemic, we were forced to shutter the [senior] activity center; during that period, the city determined it would be a good time to start looking at options for the senior activity center going forward,” Stuebe said. “After considering a multitude of options and taking into consideration the desires of our seniors, we decided the best course of action was to construct a new facility on the property that the city already owned next door.”

According to Stuebe, the new 10,000-square-foot facility will be located between the Octavia Fields Branch Library and the city’s former senior activity center, which will soon be demolished to make room for the city’s new Fire Station No. 2.

While plans for the new facility are still under design, Jennifer Wooden, who serves as the director of the Humble Civic Center where senior programs are being housed, said the new facility will feature multiuse spaces, a pickleball court and natural lighting—accommodating both existing and new programs.

Stuebe said the city is in the process of reviewing and selecting an architectural firm to design the senior activity center with hopes of selecting an architect by Jan. 1 and issuing a notice to proceed in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Until the new center is completed, Humble seniors will continue to use space at the Humble Civic Center and the Phillip Cezeaux Recreation Building as they have since programming was reinstated in spring 2021.

“Our seniors are a great priority here in Humble,” Wooden said. “The life expectancy in our country has increased by 10 years, and as people live longer we want to ensure those extra years are quality ones.”