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City council pursues Senior Center expansion

by Taylor Nye

Expanded drawings/ courtesy city of Sulphur Springs

The city of Sulphur Springs will apply for a grant to expand the future Senior Activity Center, per a special session of the city council last Thursday evening. 

The council unanimously passed Resolution 1272, which authorizes architects REES and Associates to redo drawings of the center with added space of approximately 2,140 square feet. 

These amended drawings will be presented in conjunction with other grant application materials. 

“This grant is an opportunity to build the senior center larger and better than we had even planned for the new improvement,” city manager Marc Maxwell told Front Porch News. 

Maxwell said he “likes the city’s chances” to receive the grant, as Sulphur Springs seems to be uniquely eligible for the funds. 

In August 2020, Senior Center manager Karon Weatherman pushed for the center to expand from 8,331 square feet to 10,000 square feet to accommodate more than one event held at a time and a space for the Senior Olympics, according to a press release sent by Weatherman. 

However, at the time, the city discussed during its council meetings that it could not afford 10,000 square feet due to rising construction costs. Construction continues to be suspended as of November 2021 due to fluctuations in the steel market, per a September 2021 council decision. 

Architectural renderings/ Courtesy REES Associates

If the city is the recipient of the current grant, the center will measure 10,471 square feet. 

“We’ve already got the plans,” Maxwell said. “We’re ready to go when they’re ready to award, so we hope that’ll score big points for us with them [the grant committee].” 

“I applaud the city staff in seeking out and exploring every opportunity to provide the citizens of Sulphur Springs the biggest bang for the buck,” council member Jay Julian added on social media. “There is a very strong consensus on the city council to deliver a Senior Citizens Center that is worthy of our seniors and the long wait they have patiently endured.”

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