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Design planning to begin for expanded Bend Senior Center

August 29, 2016

Working name – Larkspur Center – reflects broader programs and services

Bend, Ore. – (Aug. 29, 2016) – The Bend Park and Recreation District’s multiple projects on the Eastside will get another boost with the beginning design phase of a major expansion to the Bend Senior Center.

Building on the legacy of the Bend Senior Center, the expansion will include a working name — Larkspur Center – to welcome people of all ages, while preserving, continuing and expanding programs and services for older adults currently provided at the facility. The estimated $16.5 million project (in today’s dollars) is anticipated to be completed in approximately three years.

“For the young-at-heart, the Larkspur Center is building a future of play for all,” said Don Horton, executive director, Bend Park and Recreation District. “The new center will be a place for people of all ages to come together while it also retains and enhances programs and services to older adults.”

Designed to be a gathering place for all, this new facility will include approximately 40,000 square feet of additional space and offer opportunities to enhance lifelong fitness, learning and enrichment. When completed, the Larkspur Center will be nearly four times the size of the Bend Senior Center.

The expanded facility will better meet the needs of a rapidly growing segment of the community with changing interests. The latest U.S. Census Bureau figures indicate that the number of Deschutes County residents 65 and older rose by approximately 39 percent from April 2010 to July 2015, which was the fastest growing percentage increase in Oregon counties.

The Bend Senior Center opened in 2001, and an event room was added in 2004. The current facility is 14,000 square feet of which only 7,500 square feet is functional program space. In 2011, the District convened a Vision and Planning Committee and followed up in 2013 with a Master Plan based on the recommendations. Limited modifications were made in 2015 as precursor to the larger-scale project set to begin.

The District is currently working on design and preliminary planning, and much work will be done in the background before construction even begins.

“As we progress, we’ll be sharing designs and answering questions from our community,” said Jim Figurski, BPRD project manager.

The Larkspur Center will complement programs and services offered at the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center with minimal duplication between the two facilities. It also adds to the growing list of the District’s Eastside projects including Rockridge Park, Canal Row Park, Ponderosa Park, Pine Nursery improvements and future Southeast Bend community park.

The Larkspur Center meeting and social spaces will be increased and enhanced to better serve current and new programs. Major new amenities planned include a warm water pool, multi-purpose gymnasium, fitness facilities and indoor walking track, as well as opportunities for learning and community-building.

The District has been saving money for the Larkspur project for the past four years. The center will be paid for through existing and future tax resources– without any tax increase.

As information is available about the project, visit bendparksandrec.org/larkspurcenter for updates.