JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - After years of plans that seemed to be on-again and off-again, Johnson City's new multi-generational recreation center is ready to open.
The folks who use the Johnson City senior center fought for a new, larger building for years. "Depending on who you talk to, a new senior center has been talked about back to the 90s" says assistant city manager Charlie Stahl, "but this project was bid out in 2007."
The project faced years of back and forth discussions over locations and who could use the new center.
Ultimately the completed building that opens December 8 is for all of the community. "This building has two wings," says Stahl. "While you have an aquatics and recreation wing there is also a senior wing."
Commissioners eventually voted to build a new football stadium at Science Hill High School and redevelop the old stadium site into the new facility. Architects used some of the initial designs for a new senior center and expanded them for everyone. "There is plenty of room for everyone," says Amanda Hollifield, who oversees the new building. "This truly is a multi-generational facility."
There's a commercial-size kitchen, two basketball courts, and a workout room inside. "The pool is amazing," says Hollifield. "We have 3 pools: lap and swim, teaching pool, and therapy pool."
What will soon be the former senior center building will transform into a new use as well. City leaders plan to remodel the old building into a new juvenile court to alleviate major overcrowding at the current court building.
All parks and recreation fees will remain the same for at the new building.
The city is also offering yearly passes to the center as a cheaper option for those who plan to use it regularly.