San Antonio District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran led dignitaries, seniors and area residents in breaking ground for a new senior center and dog park in Council District 3 on Nov. 10. The project is anticipated to be ready by November 2016 and is the second senior center to be fully designed and built by the city specifically to meet the needs of area seniors. “This is an great day for District 3 because we are not only continuing to deliver on the promises to the voters of our bond program, but also providing much needed services to our seniors and intergenerational community,” said Viagran in a press release. “This site will soon become the home of an incredible asset, investment, and enhancement to Southside Lions Park, District 3 and the city, making a first-class community center for our seniors so they can be active, be healthy, and create friendships, in a safe environment they can call their own.” At more than 13,033 square-feet, the metal, stone and glass building is being built on Pecan Valley Drive. The facility will include a reception area, classrooms and offices, along with space for health screenings, exercise and dance activities, meeting rooms and a warming kitchen. A large multi-purpose room will also act as the dining room. The center will also have a large front porch that will overlook a lawn and the South Side Lions Lake. “Once completed, this center will represent our tenth comprehensive senior center and our second designed and built to meet the needs of seniors in the community,” added Melody Woolsey, director of the city’s Department of Human Services. The city in late October celebrated the grand opening of a spacious, state-of-the-art senior center on the Northeast Side.
The second component of the project includes a new dog park within South Side Lions Park. Combined with the senior center, the dog park is expected to reinvigorate this 600-acre section of the park. It will be a benefit to many South Side dog owners who for years have had only Pearsall Park to turn to as the nearest city park with a portion of land dedicated for dogs. Pearsall Park’s dog park has been in existence for over a decade. There are currently seven dog parks around the city, with this being the third new location to start construction. “The dog park will join the many other amenities at South Side Lions Park that make it a popular place where residents spend time with family and connect with neighbors,” said Xavier Urrutia, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We look forward to this new opportunity for residents to be outdoors with their pets, to be physically active, and to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.”
The District 3 Senior Center project is managed by the city’s Transportation and Capital Improvements Department, on behalf of the city’s Human Services and Parks and Recreation departments. The building was designed by architect Debra J. Dockery, and the dog park was designed by RVK Architects. It all will be constructed by Allbrite Constructors of Texas Inc. The project is funded with more than $6 million from the voter-approved 2012 bond issue.