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Additional Funding for Rochester Senior Center Approved

Created: 03/18/2014 6:59 PM KAALtv.com
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 News) -- Plans to renovate Rochester's joint Recreational Center and connect a new Senior Center will now gain pace. After being short by more than $2 million dollars and exceeding their $20 million dollar budget, city council members voted to fund that gap by using sales tax reserves.

Rochester's Senior Center is planning a healthier lifestyle for their seniors by relocating right next to the city's Recreation Center. The two units will be connected by a building with a warming and lap pool.  Before the city council's vote on obtaining additional funds, project officials considered taking that piece out of the project when budgets fell short. The project was at a standstill until now.

"We will continue working with our architects. We are currently in the schematic design phase," said Deb Nusbaum, a Senior Center board member.

It's referred to as the conceptual phase, where basic layouts are drawn and costs are estimated.

"The next phase is design development, that's where all the heavy lifting gets done. That's where the architects do their deep dive," said Nusbaum.

Doors at the end of the recreational center's pool will have to be demolished. The extension will be in the southwest corner of the building.

"We will have to remove the south end of the 50 meter pool portion of the building," said architect Steve Sorensen. Sorensen and his business TSP Architects are leading the design of the project.

"We will also extend the pool area by 14 feet, creating a larger extension of the pool," he said.

Senior center officials hired consultants that have designed senior centers nationwide.

"They know the accessibility standards. We want to at least meet or exceed those standards so that we have a state of the art facility for seniors in Rochester," said Nusbaum.

Around $8 million dollars is needed to upgrade the aging facility's pool and filtration system on top of adding a warm water lap pool for seniors to use. The Senior Center also needs around $13 million dollars for wellness and enrichment programs for seniors at the new building.