The 21st Century Norman Seniors Association is pleased that members of the Norman City Council have taken a bold step forward in an effort to create a world-class multigenerational cultural facility that all members of the Norman community can be proud of. They have requested a resolution be placed on the February 27th agenda to authorize a Senior & Cultural Facility to be built on land previously leased from the University of Oklahoma.
The City of Norman has made significant progress in developing quality of life programs and facilities for many of its citizens over the past several years and, if successful, this new effort will bring seniors into the same position. This can be a unique and visionary asset for the city over the next fifty years. We laud the courage and vision it takes to create this concept.
Our Board of Directors has voted unanimously to support the development of a Senior & Cultural Facility located on the site recently leased from the University of Oklahoma near the YMCA.
This proposal has many advantages:
*$8.75 million has been budgeted and funded for a project creating a cultural center which has been authorized by the TIF oversight committee.
*Five acres are already leased and dedicated for a senior facility, and there is open space around the site for future creative initiatives.
*The location is adjacent to the YMCA and the future Norman Forward projects of an indoor aquatic facility and a multi-sport facility. These projects include a redesign of Berry Rd. and the intersection at Westheimer Dr. where the Senior & Cultural Center would be located. Legacy Trail will be extended to this area and additional public transportation will be implemented with the new Norman Forward projects. It will be a senior friendly location.
*Creating the concept of cultural activities combined with a senior center broadens the scope and type of activities that would naturally occur in this new facility. These would include joint activities between seniors and creative organizations from the Norman community such as art shows, dance or theater productions, educational programs, etc. Seniors can bring the enormous value of experience, time and dedication to bear in helping develop these activities. It could lead to Norman being a nationwide model in the evolution of senior friendly communities.
Although there is a lot of work to do and many decisions that will have to be made to finalize the concepts in this revolutionary proposal, we urge all members of the City Council and the Mayor to vote for this resolution. It will move Norman Forward.