The Nitty Gritty of Community Center Design

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

June 9, 2014: Getting into the small spaces – questions beget more questions…

June9MtgA group of about 20 residents and staff members met today to review the most recent design plan. After reviewing current vs. slated space and storage needs for pottery, art/painting, sewing and woodcarving, the big question became, is that what we need to maintain? Which ones would grow if they were given more space? If woodcarvers only meet once a week, how can the space be utilized on the other days? Currently, the woodcarvers meet in the multipurpose room inside the McArthur Center. In the new community center design, the multipurpose room will be on the south side of the building, designed as more of a lecture hall. All the crafts groups are designated to meet in the row of studio classrooms on the north side of the building.

Could we charge outside organizations to use these spaces? Where do you draw the line between donated space as a community benefit vs. generating income to expand the programs we want to offer in the new community center?

Chairman of the Board Harry Pettit expressed the following: the goal of the new community center is to create a great sense of community and encourage all dimensions of wellness. Well said, Harry! He also pointed out the reason why we keep discussing potential revenue opportunities is because we want more than we can afford. Ahhh, yes. There it is. So, how will we get this done, on budget, and what is our next step? What model do we start with? What’s already out there? Executive Director John Hehn noted additional research is planned to review and visit other wellness center programs.

Rehab briefly discussed space, equipment and revenue opportunities.

Probably the biggest new development discussed was the change from men’s and women’s locker rooms to private unisex bathrooms with showers. Short lockers would be located along the corridor.

We turned our attention to the micro clinic. John shared a picture of a really neat and functional exam room at Moffitt that featured an exam table, consult table, sink and cabinet. The space is longer than the usual cramped exam rooms you typically see. He also questioned if we needed to include a treatment room that may accommodate future medical technology. What does the future hold for neighborhood medicine?

A small vestibule had been added to the revised plan and it was agreed by all that it isn’t needed.

A lengthy discussion ensued about which doorways need to be automatic (they’re really expensive!) and which ones could be opened manually. For someone with a walker, an electronic door provides more independence and dignity by not relying on others.

This blog post was created by Public Relations Manager Jennifer Olivier.

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