Officials from the city of Broken Arrow, together with Broken Arrow Seniors, Inc., broke ground April 13 on the new Senior Center East, located at 1811 S. Main St.
“Broken Arrow has long been a community that supports senior citizens and diverse recreation programs,” City Manager Michael Spurgeon said. “This new facility will provide much-needed room for expansion in both programming and office space as the membership continues to grow.”
The two-part municipal project consists of a new one-story building, as well as parking and much-needed storm water improvements.
The 12,400-square-foot building will include two multipurpose rooms, multiple meeting rooms and an exercise room. Paid for by voter-approved 2018 general obligation bonds, the project is expected to be completed by next summer.
“With this second building, we will be able to expand our program offerings from 75 activities a week to more than 125,” according to BA Seniors President and Chief Executive Officer Sean Simpson. “We will grow from 20,000 square feet to 32,000 square feet.”
“We certainly celebrate the much-needed additional space. However, BA Seniors is not a just building,” Simpson stressed. “BA Seniors is so much more than bricks, walls and windows. It is community. And community is what the senior center is all about.”
The 201-space parking lot will provide a dual-purpose amenity by tying into the trail at the Arrowhead Park Softball Complex to the east and serving as overflow parking for the park on evenings and weekends.
The project will also include storm sewer improvements around Arrowhead Park. “The Senior Center’s mission is to be “the model in the region for promoting healthy, social, emotional and physical engagements for adults 55 and older through programmed activities and social opportunities,” said City Councilor Johnnie Parks, chairman of the board for Broken Arrow Seniors.
He added, “We as a board continue to get feedback for programs that will continue to nurture growth and enjoyment for our membership from Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas.”
“We’ve found and we see that if older adults can meet and have social activities, they stay healthier, they enjoy life more, they are excited about getting up in the mornings to come to the senior events,” said Parks. “I’m really excited for them. It’s our city’s effort to push that forward.”
Bravo Builders LLC, will construct the new facility and improvements at a cost of approximately $3.6 million. The facility is expected to open by the summer of 2022.
Today, the diverse and energetic community fostered by BA Seniors is growing and thriving, and the organization faces a unique challenge in managing the number of members who need access to services.
As a result of both our success and the booming growth in the city of Broken Arrow, the Center now must innovate and change once more to construct a new facility and programming that is worthy of those who have devoted their lives to making Broken Arrow one of Oklahoma’s greatest places to live, work and play.
“Community allows us to support one another through life’s struggles – struggles like food insecurity. The past 10 months, we’ve provided 27,000 meals for BA seniors. That’s not even our primary mission but one of our community needs,” said BA Senior Center Executive Director Sean Simpson.