As construction on the Woodside Park Phase II housing development begins, one group will also be looking for a new home—the seniors who attend activities at the center on Woodside Ave.
The newly renovated Christian Center of Park City will serve as a temporary home to those who eat lunch, do puzzles and play games at Park City’s senior center. Those community members will have access to the Christian Center’s new event space, called The Gathering Place, twice a week for four hours at a time. Christian Center Executive Director Rob Harter says Summit County, which administers senior services at the Park City facility, is finalizing an agreement to rent the space.
Park City Economic Development Manager Jonathan Weidenhamer is overseeing the transition. Not all current services and amenities from the senior center will be transferred to the Christian Center. Weidenhamer says it’s not feasible to bring the pool table with them, and there will be a different meal provider for lunch. He says it speaks to the need for a permanent space for seniors.
“In the short term, really what it comes down to is where they have their own exclusive space, that they’re the primary tenants of, and they don't have to share," Weidenhamer said. "When they're going into a shared space, whether it be for the short term or even for the longer term, it's how do you provide that exclusive use and have them feel in a safe and protected space that they can call their own, but yet have the facility provide for other community or public services.”
Park City is in preliminary conversations with the Park City School District and Summit County to collaborate on a community services facility that could house senior programs, as well as other needs, though construction on that is down the road.
As Council liaison to the senior center, Park City Councilmember Nann Worel has spent time listening to the seniors’ concerns, so City staff and Council can begin addressing them.
“I want to reaffirm to our seniors that they’re a very important part of our community, and they certainly are in the forefront of the mind of the Council and of the staff," Worel said. "We're trying very hard to find a permanent home for them.”
In the meantime, Weidenhamer, Worel and City staff are formulating a transition plan to determine when the move to the Christian Center will happen, what will be moved and what will be stored or donated. Weidenhamer says it will be a celebration of sorts, featuring moving parties and raising awareness of the seniors’ program.
“As demographics change and new facilities get talked about, we think there's a huge opportunity to really grow this group, and grow the constituency, and bring a whole new part of the community into a shared community space," Weidenhamer said. "The opportunities there—I'm really excited about.”
Weidenhamer says the senior center on Woodside will go offline on August 1, 2019.