Town to build new senior center

Flower Mound senior citizens will have a new place to gather thanks to the efforts of town leaders.

The Flower Mound Town Council, town officials and the Parks, Arts and Library Services (PALS) board convened May 23 for a joint work session to address several community improvement projects.

First on the agenda: discussion of plans and logistics for a new senior center.

According to the 2010 census, the number of residents 65 and older has nearly tripled — from 1,347 a decade ago, or 2.7 percent of the town’s population, to 3,576, or 5.5 percent.

Seniors currently meet in the 4,850-square-foot Shirley Voirin Social Senior Center at the southeast corner of Morriss and Cross Timbers roads that had once served as the first town hall.  The building is frequently packed with people and space has become an issue.

Town Manager Jimmy Stathatos detailed the proposed location of a new center west of the intersection of FM 2499 and West Windsor Dr.

Stathatos estimated the new facility will cover some 20,626 square feet and include 150 parking spaces.

The council members and PALS board members agreed the location was ideal, and Stathatos advised a professional services agreement would be presented to the council June 17.

Approximately four months of design would follow, and Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden stated a goal for groundbreaking/laying of the foundation to be completed by the end of 2013.

Hayden also recommended the use of Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) funding to offset nearly half the cost of the project, which is estimated to be close to $5 million.

Executive Director of Community Services Gary Sims presented the status of plans to construct a dog park within the Heritage Park grounds.

The estimated cost of the dog park if located east of Garden Ridge was reported at close to $820,000 and would also require the removal of many trees.

Town councilmembers expressed preference for the optional site west of Garden Ridge which currently has a lot of open space and is near restroom facilities and would cost substantially less to build.

Town council told PALS board members to continue to review the plans and design specifications and come back to town council with specifics, expected around October or November.

A proposed skate park was next to be discussed, with members of both the council and PALS board expressing phone and online surveys of residents regarding the proposal may have been vague or conveyed the park was meant to accommodate older children and young adults.

The skate park is actually meant to accommodate smaller children, and the council indicated the project would be placed on hold with plans to re-launch a modified survey to residents.

Sims also presented a recommendation for the current location of the Heritage Park amphitheater.

Due to addition of roads and increased traffic in close proximity to the current site, Sims recommended transforming the 50 foot radius base to be covered with an octagonal structure to present park patrons with a pavilion to accommodate events.

With an estimated cost of $100,000, the council agreed to proceed with the structure implementation.

The council and PALS board also reviewed figures of Operational and Maintenance (O&M) costs reaching an annual amount of $163,000. Items discussed were plans for a tennis center, the implementation of a master plan for a library and the Public Arts Committee’s policy on accepting art contributions.


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