Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is proposing to build a new Center For Senior and Therapeutic Recreation in Shillito Park. Council members were briefed on the $10 million dollar project during Tuesday’s work session. The new facility is partly aimed at addressing capacity issues at the four-year old Senior Center located off Richmond Road.
One area of concern for Council Member David Kloiber was meeting operational costs. “I still feel like there’s a lot of things that we’re going to have to consider as a Council, considering it is a large upfront cost, it’s a continued cost, it doesn’t generate revenue and the service spectrum of who it helps, while it does help a community that very much needs and deserves it, it’s not broad reaching as much as say COVID was to our community,” said Kloiber.
The center aims to provide new accessible space for therapeutic programming including individuals with disabilities. It would also supplement some of the services currently offered at the Senior Center.
Tenth District Council Member Amanda Mays Bledsoe says residents in her district would appreciate a much shorter drive to this center compared to the existing Senior Center. Bledsoe would also like to see upgrades at the public pool near the proposed site. “If we could find a way, and I’m not saying now, but just in the near future moving forward with this project. If we could replace that pool and bubble it so our swim teams, our competitive teams could have a place to swim there all year round, which would meet our younger generation requests and our older generation requests, that would be ideal,” explained Mays Bledsoe.
Mays Bledsoe added she realizes it would be, quote, “a large ask,”, but should be part of the conversation moving forward. Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton said construction could be bonded with ongoing operation supported with general fund dollars. Mayor Linda Gorton didn’t ask Council for any action on the project Tuesday.
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