A ribbon cutting and dedication at 4 p.m. Tuesday will officially open the new 5,600-square-foot recreation space at 375 E. Ninth St.
The addition replaced a section of lawn on the east side of the senior center, between that building and the Tracy police annex. It cost $250,000, funded entirely by a Community Development Block Grant, which comes from county tax money and is designated for public community improvements.
Planning for the outdoor recreation area began two years ago, when a senior focus group suggested future improvements to the senior center, according to Jolene Jauregui-Correll, a recreation coordinator at the center. More space was at the top of the list.
“The daily fitness classes are at maximum capacity,” Jauregui-Correll said. “We’re hoping to expand the fitness classes to the outdoor area.”
The covered outdoor seating area, horseshoe pit, above-ground planters, fitness equipment and fountain were all requested by seniors.
“We included seniors and asked them what they wanted in the area,” Jauregui-Correll said. “One of the top things on the list was a horseshoe pit. Eventually we are looking to hold horseshoe tournaments.”
For now, the senior center will have a free horseshoe activity from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning after the grand opening.
Also high on the list was a gardening area. Two planters 18 feet long by 5 feet wide will be home to a gardening club and classes starting in the summer. The initial “Savvy Gardener” class will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, free of charge for local seniors starting in late April.
Binh Nguyen, an associate civil engineer for the city, said the project was built in phases over about a year. He said the bricks used to pave the recreation area were recycled from other city projects, including leftovers from the Downtown Plaza.
The entire site is wheelchair accessible, including the planters, which have broad edges that double as extra seating.
“We had to do a lot of research on how to make the planters,” Nguyen said.
Another top priority for seniors was outdoor fitness equipment. The recreation area includes a low-impact stationary bike and a four-person leg press.
“This was the best equipment for the space available,” Jauregui-Correll said.
Fitness and other group activities, from ping-pong to line dancing, could use the new outdoor area and free up valuable indoor space.
“We are bursting at the seams.” Jauregui-Correll said. “Yoga and Zumba are two of our biggest daily fitness classes that could take advantage of the new area.”
Art classes could set up portable easels outdoors, and people could gather for lunch and social events in the covered picnic area.
Jauregui-Correll said the weather will determine when the outdoor recreation area can be used, but she expected it to get a great deal of use from spring through fall.
The outdoor recreation area is secured by locked gates and surveillance cameras.
Jauregui-Correll said that other city recreation classes might eventually be able to take advantage of the recreation area after the senior center closes for the day.
Lolly Hansen Senior Center is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for men and women age 50 and older.
To sign up for a class, or for more information, call 831-4230 or visit the senior center lobby.
• Contact Glenn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4252.