City officials presented plans on Aug. 13 for an $11 million community center double the size of the current center and featuring a cafe, theater space, fitness studio and courtyard. It will be built next to the Westlake City Recreation Center at 28955 Hilliard Blvd.

Bids for the new one-story building were issued on Aug. 19. The city hopes to break ground on the 25,000 square-foot building this October and expects it to open in 2021.

The city’s 1/8 of 1 percent income tax that funds the city’s parks and recreational facilities.

DS Architecture of Cleveland designed the new community center with consultation from Lifespan Design Studio in Cincinnati, a firm that specializes in buildings for age 50-plus residents.

“I think it’s a great design and it incorporates the needs of our residents 50 years or older,” Clough said. “It also gives much more flexibility for the many activities that we want to have for that facility and it’s a very inviting environment.”

Many of the 24 people who attended the meeting shared their excitement for the project.

“It’s going to be amazing; I like the design because it will all be on one level,” said Brent Murray, 60, a 15-year Westlake resident. “A lot of people struggle with going up and down stairs and having it all one floor will help a lot.”

The new building is a result of a recreational master plan conducted in 2013 that addressed the need for a bigger more accessible senior community center.

“While (the current facility) is a lovely building on a lovely golf course, it has limitations,” said Lydia Gadd, the director of senior and community services. “It was never designed to be a senior center. We have three levels, narrow hallways, small elevators and no restrooms on the upper level for residents.”

City officials have said they do not want to sell the 13,000 square-foot community center. However, there are no firm plans yet about its potential new use. The building sits on the city-owned, 27-hole Meadowbrook Golf Course.

“The opportunity to build a new community center falls in line with the city of Westlake’s mission,” Gadd said. “‘Enhance the quality of life of all residents by providing the highest quality of services in an efficient and effective manner.’”

Contact this reporter at akamczyc@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797

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