The Senior Center of Elk Grove plans to leave its 36-year-old home at Sharkey Avenue early next year. They are moving into the city of Elk Grove’s new community center at the District 56 site on Civic Center Drive.
The Senior Center’s current facility won’t be vacant for long – local parks provider, the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) plans to open a recreation center there in late 2020. This project, tentatively named the Beeman Recreation Center, will be the district’s first Elk Grove recreation center that’s east of Highway 99. The district already owns the building that neighbors Beeman Park, and their parks staff wants to transform it into a multipurpose center that could serve an estimated 60,000 residents in the local region.
Fred Bremerman, a CSD project manager who is leading the Beeman project, told the CSD board on Dec. 4 that their district only has recreation centers west of Highway 99. These facilities include the Wackford Aquatic Complex and the Laguna Town Hall.
“That’s not equitable and we have an opportunity to change that,” Bremerman told the board about the lack of recreation centers in eastern Elk Grove.
The CSD board voted 4-0 to approve the $950,000 project plan for the recreation center. CSD Director Rod Brewer was absent from the board meeting.
The project’s funds will come from park impact fees that were collected in eastern Elk Grove and were designated to be spent on a recreation center, according to a CSD staff report. Plans are to use the money to renovate the building as well as adding furniture and equipment.
Local service organizations such as the Elk Grove Lions Club and the Soroptimist International of Elk Grove want to use this future facility as a regular meeting place. They seek a venue that’s either free to use or inexpensive to rent.
Soroptimist Tracey Edwards told the board about her club’s various meeting spots that included the La Bou café, a library, and a conference room at a local Dignity Health center.
“We would rather partner with the CSD and give our money to the community,” she said.
Bremerman told the CSD board that their parks staff held several community meetings and conducted an online survey of what community members seek from the Beeman Recreation Center. He said that respondents desired a venue for fitness and leisure activities as well as a “community hub” where neighbors can gather to socialize.
“This is just a tip of the iceberg,” Bremerman said.
He noted that the parks staff does not plan to open a teen center at Beeman or have activities that go beyond midnight.
As for the project’s timeline, the CSD staff plans to start moving into the building in February and to start reconstruction in spring. A grand opening is anticipated for fall 2020.
CSD Recreation Manager Jonnie Siemens told the CSD board on Dec. 4 that her staff wants to move into the Beeman Recreation Center sooner than later.
“It is my belief that a house does not make a home, but it is the people that are in it,” she said.