LOCAL NEWS

New volunteer committee providing input on Leander senior center

This group of active adults are providing input on the needs of the planned Leander senior center

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There’s a new committee for the city of Leander, which consists entirely of volunteer senior citizens.

The Active Adult Advisory Committee, which formed in November, is an advisory group of adults older than 55 whose sole purpose is to aid in the general planning for the Leander Active Adult Activity Center.

The Leander council first approved formation of the committee back in September and, so far, the committee has met twice, once on Nov. 7 and again on Nov. 30 to tour area senior center facilities. The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 14 at the Mason Homestead located at 1101 S. Bagdad Road.

“We thought we needed input from our active adult community to provide ideas and suggestions primarily focused on the programming aspects, and we could tailor the building to meet their needs,” said Parks and Recreation Director Mark Tummons. “We wanted our older adults involved in the process and to help us down the road.”

The council approved an agreement in September for $467,200 for the design, engineering and construction administration services of the senior center with Houston-based design firm PGAL. Leander voters approved funding for the design and construction of the facility in the city’s May 2016 bond election.

The advisory committee will assist with suggestions for the center’s overall design over the course of the next 10 months. After designs are approved, and the bonds are sold in fall 2018, construction may start in early 2019 and could take as long as 10 to 12 months, Tummons said.

The center’s location will likely be on Municipal Drive near Camacho Elementary School.

“Upon completion of the center, we anticipate keeping the advisory committee in-tact and utilize their keen insight to assist in providing activities and programs for the Leander senior community,” Tummons said.

Dean Fleharty, a member of the committee, recently moved to Leander from west Texas because of his love for Texas Longhorns football — where his son attended college. He said he found out about the committee from a fellow churchgoer and decided to sign up.

“I have loved every minute of being on the committee,” he said. “I think it’s outstanding they formed this group. They want as many ideas as we have so they can lay it out as conveniently as possible. They’re finding out what the seniors want and they’re including them in the decision making.”

Fleharty said he wants the senior center to be a main hub for socialization, and a place that can accommodate community organization meetings, weddings and birthday parties. Having a good kitchen is also important, as it will likely help support Meals on Wheels.

A quiet room for certain games like bridge and cards, a music room, and an indoor walking track were all ideas Fleharty said he’d like to see implemented in the design.

“I would like to cover as many activities as the money would allow,” he said. “I think there’s so much potential I think. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.”

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