Keller voters on Nov. 6, 2018 approved plans to issue up to $8 million in debt — without an associated tax rate increase — to build a new Senior Activities Center.
The new building is envisioned as a 23,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility serving residents 55 and older that will house space for classrooms, crafts and hobbies, events, games and billiards, senior-focused fitness activities and more. Combined with $1.6 million that will be paid in cash from the General Fund, the total project cost is an estimated $9.6 million.
The new building as well as additional parking will be constructed at Johnson Road Park to the west and north of the existing playground, replacing the 4,236-square-foot Senior Activities Center built on the east end of the Johnson Road property in 1990.
See below for election details, the history of this project and a collection of Frequently Asked Questions.
Early voting for the Nov. 6 election runs Oct. 22-Nov. 2, 2018. Full details about voter registration, polling times and locations, sample ballots and more can be found on the Tarrant County Elections website.
Keller residents will vote either "FOR" or "AGAINST" Proposition A, which will read:
"The issuance of public securities in an amount not to exceed $8,000,000 for new Senior Activity Center at Johnson Road Park."
- Built In: 1990
- Size: 4,236 Square Feet
- Capacity: 120 People
Proposed Facility (all estimates, based on conceptual plans)
- Cost: $9.6 million
- Size: 23,000 Square Feet
- Capacity: 800
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How does the current population of Keller and its senior citizens compare to when the Senior Activities Center was built in 1990?
Keller’s total population in 1990 when the Senior Center was built was 13,683. Of those, 1,496 citizens were 55 or older. The city’s most recent estimates are that our population will grow to 49,700 by the year 2022 with 16,082 of those residents being 55 or older. Through a combination of increased population and the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, we anticipate that more than 32 percent of Keller’s residents will be over the age of 55 by 2022.
2. What is the total estimated project cost and what does it include?
The total estimated project cost for the proposed new Senior Activities Center is $9.6 million. Voters are being asked whether to take on up to $8 million in debt for construction, without an associated tax rate increase, with the remainder being cash funded. This estimate includes all associated studies and site work; professional design and engineering; an envisioned ~23,000-square-foot building; all furniture, fixtures and equipment; and a corresponding expansion of the parking lot at Johnson Road Park (~90 spaces).
3. Without a tax rate increase, where would the money for this project come from?
The city made its final payment this year on debt related to the Keller Town Center Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone, which covered the construction of Keller Town Hall, the KISD Natatorium, and the drainage, roads, bridges, trail and park amenities in Town Center. If approved by voters, up to $8 million in debt would be issued by the city to pay for the proposed Senior Activities Center and take advantage of both the fund balance in the TIRZ account as well as the portion of General Fund that has been going to the TIRZ payments since 2000.
4. The proposed 23,000-square-foot facility is more than five times larger than the current building. How did the city arrive at that square footage for its proposal?
City leadership took a number of variables into account in crafting the size of this proposal, including:
- The increase in Keller’s senior population since the existing facility was built
- Projections for Keller’s senior population at buildout
- Ongoing demographic changes as existing generations age
- National recommendations and best-practices for the size and amenities of community senior centers
- The size and amenities of recently constructed senior centers in other comparable North Texas communities
- Public input regarding desired amenities for the new center, and square footage standards for the size of those amenities
5. If the proposed senior center is voted down in November, what would happen to that $9.6 million?
If voters turn down the new senior center proposal, the city would not issue the up to $8 million in debt associated with the project. The $1.6 million in cash that was earmarked for this project as part of the Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget pending the November vote would remain in the General Fund fund balance to be used or saved at City Council’s discretion.
|SEE ALL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS|
The Keller City Council on Feb. 21, 2017 hired Brinkley Sargent Wiginton as the consultant on this project. As part of their work, they compiled a Keller Senior Activities Center Study.
- The original two-building plan consisting of a 19,332-square-foot, one-story Senior Center and a standalone gym large enough for four pickleball courts, plan an additional four outdoor pickleball courts and replacing the existing outdoor basketball courts in Johnson Road Park
- A new larger, one-story building plan: a 22,000-square-foot Senior Center that would include a large enough fitness area to accommodate two indoor pickleball courts
March 21, 2018: City Council members tour three comparable senior centers in neighboring communities: Flower Mound, Coppell and Hurst
March 20, 2018: City Council members and staff meet with Savannah Developers to discuss the cost of public vs. private construction projects
Jan. 30, 2018: Joint meeting held between City Council, the Keller Development Corporation and the Parks & Recreation Board; City Council directs staff to focus on:
- A two-building option: 19,332-square-foot Senior Center and a standalone gym large enough for four pickleball courts
- An additional four outdoor pickleball courts in Johnson Road Park
- Replacement of the existing outdoor basketball courts in Johnson Road Park
Oct. 27, 2017: At their City Council retreat, council directs staff to tentatively plan for a November 2018 bond election to fund a new Senior Center
Oct. 10, 2017: Joint meeting held between City Council, the Keller Development Corporation and the Parks & Recreation Board
- Build a new Senior Center facility on the west side of the playground in Johnson Road Park
- The new facility should be approximately 22,000 square feet
- The project should continue to move forward, and joint work session is requested
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