Group meets to discuss possibilities of new center

Tracy resident and community center advocate Ken Witt is a member of the newly-formed “Friends of the Center” group, which is working to help raise money for a new community/senior center in Tracy. Photo / Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

A small group of people with some big ideas met Monday to discuss the future of Tracy’s community/senior center.

Led by Becky Averill, the new “Friends of the Center” group gathered to share thoughts and ideas about the direction they would like to see the City go in terms of a new center, as well as fundraising ideas.

The group, which consisted of Averill, Don Gregoire, Ken Witt, Shirley Anderson and Karen Krog, was put together in an effort to support the City in the community’s drive to find a new home for seniors, or possibly a recreation-type area for all.

The City in 2020 sold the Multi-Purpose Center at the corner of 3rd and Morgan to make way for a Plaid Moose restaurant. Since then, much discussion has taken place — at city council meetings, as well as various committee meetings — in efforts to come up with a solution that fits everyone’s needs. The Eagles Club will serve as a temporary location for seniors, but concerning the long-term vision of a new center, the discussion has mostly been narrowed to a new building at the liquor store site, an addition on the east side of the Veterans Memorial Center (in the space once occupied by the Masonic Lodge building), or a remodel of the former liquor store building.

Witt, who has been an outspoken member of the senior community at recent city council meetings and a study session, brought two “blueprints” that he put together to Monday’s meeting — one of a new building, the other a remodel of the old liquor store building — that included dimensions of various rooms for both.

Witt said in order to check all the boxes for the 14-member steering committee’s wish list it came up with over the last few months — four offices, a classroom, two bathrooms, a kitchen and a gathering space — would require at least 4,000 square feet. Choosing to remodel the old liquor store, he surmised, wouldn’t allow for all of it. Witt said if the City wants a quality center, choosing the former would make more sense.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.