Community center takes shape in Gardnerville |

Community center takes shape in Gardnerville

by Sheila Gardner
Construction at the community center site on Wednesday.
Shannon Litz | The Record-Courier


Size: 83,225 square feet

Location: 19-acre site at Herbig Park, Gardnerville

Primary components:

Senior Center: dining room for 300 people, administrative offices

Community Center: senior day care, health nurse office, preschool, community activity rooms

Recreation center: fitness and workout areas, gymnasiums

Site improvements: landscaping, parking lot

Construction cost: $16.9 million

Occupancy: February 2015

The center site is located across Waterloo Lane from Lampe Park.

Senior Services

■ Dining room, multi-purpose room, seating capacity 500-600 people

■ Gift shop to be operated by volunteers and Young at Heart

■ Reading and resource area for socialization, education and WIFI access

■ Senior and adult services, administrative offices to house the existing senior services staff, arts and crafts including wet and dry rooms.

■ Commercial kitchen suitable to support other nutrition programs.

■ Public transportation offices

■ Senior daycare Facilities and Community Health

■ Storage and outdoor common spaces includes a separate entrance

■ Restroom and storage facilities

Part B

■ Community Center and meeting rooms

■ Classrooms

■ Meeting rooms

■ Warming kitchen

■ Part-time preschool facilities

■ Shared entrance with the health & wellness portion of the facility

■ Storage and restrooms.

Part C

■ Gymnasium and health and wellness center

■ Two regulation basketball courts with four regulation volleyball courts

■ An indoor jogging track

■ Free weights and workout facilities

■ Cardiovascular exercise equipment

■ Indoor playground

■ Shared entrance with community center

■ Racquetball courts

■ Locker and dressing facilities

■ Reception and concession area


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Bob Cook, chairman

Drew Aguilar, vice chairman

Dave Brady, treasurer

Michael Matuska, secretary

John Swain, director

Britta Swanson, director

Larry Sidney, director

Scott Morgan, Douglas County representative

As the Douglas County Community and Senior Center continues to rise up from Herbig Park in Gardnerville, Community Services Director Scott Morgan says the most frequent question he’s asked is, “What are you building?”

The answer is an 83,225-square-foot center that officials predict will serve the community — cradle to grave — for the next hundred years.

The $16.9 million center is on schedule and expected to be open for business in February 2015.

Every Wednesday, representatives of the design committee, senior advisory committee, county parks and recreation boards, staff and county commission tour the 19-acre site to watch Douglas County’s largest public works project come to life.

Morgan is preparing to launch a webcam so viewers can watch construction.

“Everything we learned building the Kahle Community Center, we’ve put into practice here,” Morgan said as he led a tour Wednesday. “Only this is three times bigger. It’s Kahle on steroids.”

Depending on the day of the week, Morgan said there are between 28 and 90 workers on the site with an average of about 40.

Participants in the tour Wednesday included architect Pat Pusich and CORE Construction project manager Travis Coombs.

Coombs said the project was on schedule.

“I’m one of those guys who believes fit body, fit mind,” Pusich said in an interview. “The building will give the citizens of Douglas County an opportunity to be fit year-round, not only their athletic abilities, but their minds,” he said.

Pusich said the firm, Tate Snyder Kimsey of Reno, remains with the project through completion and opening.

“We wanted to make sure there is an agricultural look to the building and it fits in with the historical palette of Minden and Gardnerville,” he said. “The owner (the county) is doing a great job. They have a lot of ideas and we have been meeting with the Douglas County team weekly for the last six months. It’s got to the point where we’re almost peers. Nobody is afraid to say anything, or feel like something is a dumb idea.”

Larry Sidney, a member of the Douglas County Community Services Foundation, said he was honored to be part of the process.

“I think it’s very exciting for everyone just to know the county is in a position to provide this for the whole community,” he said. “This is not just for young kids or seniors. Every single person can benefit from this.”

Senior Services Manager Travis Lee estimated at least five new couples a week stop by the Douglas County Senior Center to ask about the new building.

“They are drawn by this project, and so excited to relocate here,” Lee said.

Morgan said the only facility in the western United States, which comes close to the new community center, is in Arizona.

“We’re building a family opportunity center,” he said. “It allows families to take responsibility for themselves and their loved ones. It’s a place for kids to go after school. It’s a place for seniors to go during the day.”

Morgan said he’s heard criticism that the center is “big government.” He calls it “big community.”

He said the center will offer an opportunity for families to “avoid the horrible scenario” of placing someone in a nursing home because nothing is available during the day to provide care for their loved ones.

With senior day care services, an expanded dining program and the community health department under one roof, residents will have more options.

“One day, your life will change for reasons you cannot know,” Morgan said. “The center will be a low-cost way to keep your life running normally for as long as possible. These services represent ‘a sip vs. a gulp’ in your life.”

What officials found with the Kahle Community Center is that it changed the way residents perceived each other.

“We get to know our neighbors again,” Morgan said.