Community Services Director Scott Morgan said the Douglas County Community and Senior Center is 60 percent complete with an expected opening date of April 2015.
Morgan spoke to Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce members during their monthly luncheon on Wednesday at Lentine’s Italian Restaurant.
“It looks big from the outside, but it’s even bigger on the inside,” he said. “It’s a game-changer in this community.”
A community center has been a priority in Douglas County since the 1960s, but funding the building has always been a hindrance.
The $16.9 million building was paid for using the indigent medical fund reserve and bonds.
Morgan added that the timing of the building couldn’t have been better with construction rates so low.
The building’s layout was designed to be functional 100 years from now, and to adapt to a changing demographic.
The 83,000-square-foot building is made up of three distinct parts — a community center, activity rooms and a senior center.
On the north side is the gymnasium complete with basketball, racquetball and volleyball courts, a rock climbing wall, an indoor jogging track and game room.
“This is the command center. It will be open seven days a week,” Morgan said. “This is the place where mom, dad, grandpa and grandma can get in the car and come do something in this building.”
The middle section is comprised of seven activity rooms for rent to the public to use for whatever services they offer.
“We call this the biggest small business center in Douglas County,” Morgan said. “All the activities that take place in these rooms aren’t by Douglas County employees, they’re business people like you.”
Administration offices, the community health nurse office, DART Transportation and senior services will also be centrally located at the building rather than spread throughout the Valley.
The building will also be home to a part-time preschool, not day care, Morgan clarified.
“It’s going to have a cultural performing arts center in it,” Morgan said of the preschool. “Once a week the preschoolers are going to be at the senior center putting on a show.”
The senior center will be housed on the south side of the facility with a kitchen the size of the entire current senior center, and capable of seating 300 diners.
There will also be a retractable stage, gift shop and large lobby area.
Morgan said one of the last pieces to be implemented will be a senior day care with five-day a week care to accommodate working caregivers, or drop-in rates.
“It’s another option for folks who say, ‘I want to take care of my dad at home,’ and it’s a far less costly option than long-term care,” Morgan added. “Our senior center is about having a reason to get out of bed and go and meet and greet your friends.”
Douglas County Community Services Foundation is in the process of raising $325,000 needed to furnish the center when it’s complete.
They are asking for sponsors or community members to buy a brick for $100 to $300.
The bricks will be part of walkways and patios around the building.
For more information, visit www.dccsf.com, or call 782-9828.