Humble City Council votes to demolish Humble Senior Activity Center

The Humble Senior Activity Center, which provides free services to the area's elderly population, will be demolished by the end of 2020. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Humble Senior Activity Center, which provides free services to the area's elderly population, will be demolished by the end of 2020. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Humble Senior Activity Center, which provides free services to the area's elderly population, will be demolished by the end of 2020. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Humble Senior Activity Center, which provides free services to the area's elderly population, will be demolished by the end of 2020, Humble city officials said.

Instead, seniors will be relocated to the nearby Humble Civic Center for all future activities. The city's senior bus service will continue to operate, officials said.

Humble City Council unanimously approved demolishing the center, located at 1401 S. Houston Ave., at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting. The original Aug. 27 meeting was postponed to Sept. 1 out of precaution for Hurricane Laura.

"We have some good ideas [about] making that [program] even better for us," Humble Mayor Merle Aaron said. "This is looking toward the future."

The Senior Activity Center provides activities to roughly 350-400 active members, offering them reading, Spanish and exercise classes as well as movie days and luncheons, officials said.

Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said the decision to demolish the center, which opened in 1994, was made recently amid the coronavirus pandemic and was not something the city had previously planned. The center, which has been closed since mid-March due to the pandemic, has been in need of a new air conditioning system and other costly repairs, he said.

The building was first constructed in 1978 and used by the Humble First Assembly of God Church as its Worship and Christian Education Center, said Lyle Countryman, whose father, Jack Countryman, was the pastor at the time. Pastor Milton Pool, who is the current pastor at the church, said the church sold the building to the city in the early 1990s and relocated to a bigger building on FM 1960.

Stuebe said the city will spend roughly $30,000 of the fiscal year 2020-21 budget to demolish the building by the end of the year instead of spending more funds to renovate the 42-year-old building.

"We may have to invest a little in repurposing some portions of the Civic Center to do that, but if we can provide a better service at a lower cost, lower overhead, because we are utilizing a facility we already have, I think that's certainly something we need to take a look at," Stuebe said.

The city will consider building a new activity center in the future, he said. Stuebe said the city intends to keep the property the center is on and is considering future development options.

Humble Civic Center Director Jennifer Wooden, whose department oversees the activity center, said moving the community members to the Civic Center will allow for a more robust experience for the city's seniors once they are allowed to safely congregate amid the pandemic.

"[The Civic Center] can be multifunctional in the sense that we will still host or rent out the facility for events, but at the same time it's such a magnificent space," she said. "I think it's going to be a great space to nurture vibrancy and health and wellness."

In addition to relocating the program, program directors are considering restructuring the senior activity program to be "multigenerational" and open to more age groups, Wooden said.

"My mom is part of a multigenerational activity program, and I feel like her life is enriched by it, and I also feel like the younger people are enriched by her wisdom," she said.

While the pandemic certainly pushed the city to make a quick decision regarding the future of the Senior Activity Center, Wooden said she believes it is best for the future of the program.

"I think this is a time where most organizations are thinking outside the box," she said, "Fortunately for the city of Humble, we have such a great structure and great bones that we could do a shift and it didn't hurt us, but it actually ended up being something better."

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated the Humble Senior Activity Center was built in 1994. The article has been updated with the appropriate history.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.


If approved, the Lake Houston Dredging and Maintenance District could take on all future dredging in Lake Houston. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
To-be-filed bill could fund dredging in Lake Houston by charging additional surface water fee

The conservation and reclamation district would have the power to take out bonds to fund projects. The bonds would be paid through a fee charged to utility providers who purchase surface water from Lake Houston.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

Houston City Hall aerial view
Houston City Council ethics committee to review speech policies

The discussion comes after Facebook posts by Council Member Greg Travis led to calls for his resignation or censure.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is scheduled to return in person in October. (Courtesy Katya Horner/Bayou City Art Festival)
Bayou City Art Festival scheduled for in-person return in October

The Memorial Park version of the festival will be celebrated through alternative virtual and smaller in-person events.

The Conroe clinic was allocated 2,000 doses of Moderna Inc.'s COVID-19 vaccine the week of Jan. 18 because of its designation as a hub provider. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Conroe's Lone Star Family Health Center designated as COVID-19 vaccination hub, receives 2,000 doses

The facility was the sole Montgomery County provider to receive a vaccine allocation in the sixth week of statewide distribution.

At a Jan. 15 emergency court hearing, officials came up with a plan to try to reduce the inmate population at the Harris County Jail that centers on hosting more bail reduction hearings. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
With open beds dwindling, officials look for ways to reduce Harris County jail population

The inmate population at the Harris County Jail is rising, and officials are looking for ways to quickly ease the pressure as concerns grow over the ability to quarantine and restrict the spread of the coronavirus.

Bocca Italian Kitchen serves seasonal, Italian-inspired dishes, such as polenta and various pastas. (Courtesy Marco Torres)
Italian eateries open in Generation Park; Houston bike lane fines enforced and more local news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The independent pharmacy went through 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine in nine days. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Magnolia Pharmacy aims to open volunteer-run COVID-19 vaccine clinic Jan. 22

If everything goes according to plan, the clinic could administer 200-400 doses per day to those who qualify, regardless of their county of residency.

Humble Mayor Merle Aaron announced in January that he would not seek re-election in May. (Courtesy Merle Aaron)
UPDATED: Humble Mayor Merle Aaron announces retirement, will not seek re-election in May

Prior to serving as mayor, Aaron was elected to City Council in 2005 to complete an unexpired term as council member. He resigned 10 years later to run for mayor.

Humble City Council Member Allan Steagall, left, who served on the council for 18 years, officially retired Jan. 14. Steagall was joined at his last meeting by his wife, Juanita, right. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Humble City Council Member Allan Steagall retires after 18 years serving community

Steagall served 18 consecutive years on Humble City Council, during which he never ran opposed for his seat.

Minute Maid Park
Houston Health Department vaccine appointments fill up in 16 minutes

The department will administer 5,000 doses at Minute Maid Park on Jan. 16 and 17.