Community Center: A year to go |

Community Center: A year to go

Construction in the dining room of the new Douglas County Community & Senior Center on Wednesday.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier


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Want to name the Carson Valley Community & Senior Center? All it costs is $5 million to name the $16.9 million building after a favorite relative, or even yourself.

Although, center foundation President Bob Cook said, if someone shows up with multiple millions, they’d probably be willing to make a deal.

With one year to go before the center opens, efforts are in overdrive to raise money for furnishings, finishings and other pieces of the puzzle that will complete the center.

But big bucks aren’t required to participate. Pavers for the center’s patios are on sale at the foundation website. Cash or other donations of any amount are welcome, Cook said.

“We have lots of room for pavers,” Cook said.

Douglas County Community Services Director Scott Morgan said the center needs $675,000 to open and $1.643 million to be functional. That doesn’t mean that all the amenities that could be in the center, will be.

The center will combine generations from preschool to senior day care, and everything in between.

Morgan has been publicly talking about the concept for a multi-generational center designed since 2005.

With basketball, an indoor running track and a “sea of wood” in the gym, the center will serve active residents while still providing those seniors who enjoy gathering for a meal a place to be with friends.

It will even provide those folks who don’t feel comfortable getting a reduced-cost meal with someplace to buy coffee and a scone.

And, Morgan points out, if there are people they don’t want to run into, there are lots of places in the building to go.

“There’s a lot of space,” he said.

So much space that the gym can also serve big events, which wouldn’t otherwise consider Carson Valley.

Morgan said that MEFIYI’s JoJo Townsell has already booked the gym a year and a half out after it opens for youth volleyball tournaments.

Because the bleachers can be stored or reconfigured out of the way, use of the gym isn’t limited to sporting events.

That would allow conventions and large businesses to use the gym for their gatherings.

“On weekends, this place will belong to A.J.,” Morgan said of Carson Valley Visitors Authority Director A.J. Frels. “We get most of my budget from room and sales taxes. When A.J. does well, we do well.”

The building is large enough to house all sorts of activities from teen activities to crafts.

The dining hall will serve 300 seniors, whether they’re there to eat or just socialize with their peers.

Services such as the Douglas Area Rural Transit bus and community health nurse will be available.

Morgan said private enterprise will provide services at the center, including preschool, senior day care.

“(Chamber of Commerce Director) Bill Chernock said this could be the largest small business incubator in the county,” Morgan said.

Having the senior and children’s preschool next door to one another means that both communities will have an opportunity to interact.

“There will be a healthy dose of gray in this preschool,” he said. “Kids put on a show for the seniors once a week.”

When the dining room’s not serving meals, Morgan said he’d like to see it used for special events, like wedding receptions.

There’s a warming kitchen that people could use instead of the commercial kitchen.

“We looked at what people did wrong at other centers,” he said. “There was no storage and things that should be stored just ended up occupying the corners. We’ve got a grand room, and we want to keep it grand.”

And all that will be operated without hiring one new manager or one new administrative clerk, Morgan said.

“No county employee will run any of the activities in the classrooms,” he said.

Fundraising is focusing on floor coverings, including carpet and tiles this year. The foundation also benefits the Kahle Community Center and Gymnasium and the Tahoe-Douglas Senior Center.