Thursday, March 13, 2008

In which I visit the Adult Center

I had a ride today; friend Patty & I were headed over to the Prescott Community Center on Rosser Street to get an overview of the new facility. A lot that was new to me today. For example, the broad divided avenue across the mesas to the north of downtown Prescott. Very upscale. Plenty of room for a even more new residents to build even more houses requiring even more water.

The Center is up on the mesa near Highway 89. Great views. The basic arrangement is a divided responsibility. According to its web site, the Community Center offers nearly 21,000 square-feet of space for adult-oriented recreation, education, & entertainment, including a ballroom/auditorium with a 4,000 ft. dance floor. In addition, the area surrounding the facility is slated to be developed by the City of Prescott into a 19-acre park with tennis and horseshoe courts, hiking trails, & other opportunities for outdoor recreation. Although the Community Center was built by the City of Prescott, the City provides only minimal ongoing financial support. The day-to-day operation of the Center is the responsibility of the Adult Center and Meals on Wheels, both of which are tax-exempt 501c(3) charitable organizations.

There's a lot of neat stuff at the Center. For example, four computers in the lounge/reading room, donated by the Prescott Public Library. Not to overlook the chess board (below).

The auditorium doubles as a ballroom; here it is being used for a class in line dancing. Activities offered at the center range from bingo and bridge to music and language lessons. Aside from a handful of paid employees, the center depends almost exclusively upon volunteers.

There's a jam-packed resale shop to help finance operations.

Equipment in the exercise room was donated by the Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe. (I still maintain that most exercise equipment looks to have been designed for Torquemada.)

A meeting room (one of several) here in use for a yoga class.

Operated by the Meals on Wheels organization, the large dining room serves seniors subsidized luncheons for a suggested $4 donation; diners do not have to belong to the Adult Center. In the room are games -- and a clock I wish I had seen several days earlier for my post on time pieces!

Now the mini-rant: the facility is handsome; the offerings are certainly of interest to me. If I were there, I'd probably take advantage of the dining room. Just one problem. Like many, many older residents (adults, yes?) of Prescott, I do not drive. The distance from the city center makes an expensive taxi ride a once a month affair at best. Our little Toonerville Trolley bus route hugs the downtown area. When we left, I looked in vain for one or more of those mini-buses one sees around town -- the sort of transportation that would serve the lonely apartment dwellers for whom Meals on Wheels is really intended. Nada. Too bad.


TomboCheck said...

My exact thought when I saw the center was that it was too far out of the way to be of use to a lot of people. The people in cliff rose (the subdivision right next to the center) have easy access though, and the few I have done work for were pretty excited about it.

I'm guessing that the old adult center is no longer in service?

sheoflittlebrain said...

Prescott's attitude toward transportation for non-drivers is interesting especially in this instance. After all, we've become a retirement community, and I would guess that many elders would relinquish the wheel if they were given an alternative!
I would imagine there are some volunteers who provide transport such as 'The Helping Hands.'
Come to think of it, I believe they only do groceries and Dr.'s Offices.
A thought provoking post, GJ!

Melanie A. said...

Gotta love the provision of horseshoe courts! But where are the shade trees to make pitching horseshoes a pleasant activity on a warm afternoon? I guess those would take too much water.

I'm also surprised that the center was built so far from downtown or other accessible places. You'd think all the hue and cry about elderly drivers would encourage siting things where visitors could get to them without personal cars.

Avus said...

Excellent centre - probably better than anything we get over here. Our distances are far less than yours, but I guess we manage to have volunteer-driven minibus services to such places.
Here is a project waiting for you to organise, Granny!

Anonymous said...

Like the movie where they said, "If you build it, they will come". Why is the planning always piss poor. Excuse my English, but these things can sure make one mad, when they aren't done right. Transportation is the key to everything. Not forgetting the need for water, that may be there, or not, in a few years. Sorry about the rant.

Granny J said...

tombo -- what I noticed when I consulted The Google about the Community Center is how often it was cited by realtors as an amenity for upscale housing...

brain -- I think that People Who Care might possibly take people, since they Do go beyond medical & shopping. I plan on contacting them.

melanie -- Wouldn't be surprised if trees weren't put into a park. As for the location way out, I suppose that either the developer gave a break on the cost of the land or the idea was that all the proposed facilities wouldn't fit on high priced land near the city center.

avus -- I'm a thinking about it...

steve -- anywhere the center is located, any water problem is the same (except that the old center, near downtown, had a B-A-D leaky roof.) However, the distance has me puzzled. I should think that the Sparkes Activity Center on Gurley would be a MUCH better location for a Meals on Wheels kitchen.

Jan said...

granny's too bad that the center is not more accessible.

It certainly looks like a great place..and I love that clock!

Catalyst said...

GJ - I sent an e-mail to a former "contact" and friend, Steve Norwood (city manager) suggesting that he might want to read (and act on) your post.

It was a point very well taken.

(I'm not in Prescott but I'm getting older, too!)

Granny J said...

jan -- I'm fortunate in that I have friends who take me hither & yon; others aren't necessarily as lucky.

Cat-A -- Thank you for the follow-up. I'll be curious what comes of it!

meggie said...

What a very nice facility it looks to be. Surely the most important part of it should be the people. How silly not to provide transport. Many people don't drive, not only the 'adults'!

Granny J said...

meggie -- I have to admit that I haven't been there day after day or at various hours of the day to check out whether vans of people have been arriving. However, the ladies in the resale shop did say that they had noticed that the center was drawing "a different sort of crowd" in the new building.

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