Company:
City of Huntington Beach
Status:
Awarded
Awarded:
Community Improvement Project of the Year
Additional Files
OC Register Article
Senior Center Images
Grading Site Prep Images
Architectural Site Plan
Additional Information

Huntington Beach Senior Center In Central Park

Project Location:

18041 Golden West Street, City of Huntington Beach

Project Description:

The Huntington Beach Senior Center in Central Park is a 38,000 square foot facility integrated into the City’s 343-acre Central Park. Planned and designed with extensive community input, the $21.5 million facility provides direct access to Park walking trails. The Center, landscaped grounds and 232-space parking lot were designed to provide easy access for the elderly. The 17-month construction period began with grading to provide access to the site which sits below street grade level. Utilities were brought to the site, and circulation improvements were made on Golden West Street. The previous T-intersection was expanded, providing additional access and parking for Central Park which spans both sides of Golden West Street. Intersection improvements included the addition of a traffic signal, median improvements, left turn pocket, and modernized traffic loops to accommodate bicyclists.

Project Justification:

Over the years and prior to being designated as parkland, the five-acre site within the City’s 343-acre Central Park had several uses—including serving as a disposal site for concrete debris from the original 405 freeway construction. While the condition was known, the amount of debris was greater than documented. Rather than hauling the debris offsite, the City chose to recycle the debris, and the contractor crushed the debris on-site for use in the fill.

Integrated into Central Park’s native landscape, the Center provides direct access to walking trails and offers expansive Park views. Outdoor seating areas provide a relaxing respite amidst the 32-square mile community of 200,000.

The site and facility were designed to CAL Green standards. The building’s architectural design incorporates the use of natural sunlight to minimize the need for powered lighting. To minimize water usage and ensure compatibility with the surrounding environment, input on the native plant palette was solicited from the Friends of Shipley Nature Center, a local environmental group that operates and manages the nearby Shipley Nature Center in Central Park. Bio-swales were installed in the parking lot to improve water quality.

The new Senior Center includes a loading zone and lounge for the Surf City Seniors on the Go transportation program, providing transportation to and from Senior Center classes and activities. The program also provides transportation to medical appointments and assists in meeting needs for home bound seniors. A commercial kitchen serves over 2300 meals each week, both onsite and delivered to homes.

Special Circumstances:

Early Challenges
The genesis of the Huntington Beach Senior Center in Central Park began with a 2005 Feasibility Study which identified nine sites. Residents, stakeholders and members of the Huntington Beach Council on Aging participated in community meetings and smaller focus group sessions to identify and share community needs and desires for a new facility to accommodate the City’s growing senior population, expected to be more than 53,000 by 2020, a 64 percent increase from 2005. The Central Park location became the preferred site, but not without opposition from some community members.  Measure T, on the November 2006 ballot, was narrowly approved for the Senior Center in Central Park.

Community Partnerships
During the planning stages, the City sought out extensive input from residents and Huntington Beach Council on Aging in identifying needs and programs to develop a facility that met the needs and desires of the senior community.

To ensure compatibility with the surrounding environment, input on the plant palette was solicited from the Friends of Shipley Nature Center, an environmental group that operates the nearby Shipley Nature Center in Central Park.

Partnering with service providers complemented the City’s efforts to deliver the state-of-the-art facility, which includes the 6,000 square foot Hoag Health and Wellness Pavilion. The Edinger Medical Group sponsored space provides revenue-generating rental space.

A Model of Success
Nearly 4,000 attended the grand opening, attesting to the community’s need, excitement and support for the new facility. In any given week, more than 100 classes and activities are offered, over 2,300 meals are served and delivered to homes, and more than 1,000 seniors utilize services provided by the Senior Center. The Huntington Beach Senior Center has quickly become a model that other communities look to in planning and developing facilities and services for their growing senior populations.

Project Attachments:

Award Citation::

Integrated into Central Park’s native landscape, the 38,000 square foot facility was designed with input from residents, community stakeholders and the Huntington Beach Council on Aging. In any given week, more than 1,000 seniors utilize services provided and over 2,300 meals are served and delivered to homes. The facility enables the City to offer comprehensive social, recreational, educational and support services to serve the evolving needs of the community.

Suggested Award Summary:

The Huntington Beach Senior Center in Central Park exemplifies the City’s commitment to wellness, lifelong learning and active lifestyles. The new 38,000 square foot facility now serves as the City’s main Senior Center—a move from its aging facility, originally Santa Ana Air Base barracks built in the 1940s, which had served as the Senior Center since 1975. The new facility, designed with input from residents, community stakeholders and the Huntington Beach Council on Aging, offers a variety of programs, classes and services to the City’s senior community.

Integrated into Central Park’s native landscape, the Center provides direct access to walking trails and offers expansive Park views. The building’s architectural design incorporates the use of natural sunlight to minimize the need for powered lighting. The facility, landscaped grounds and 232-space parking lot were designed to provide easy access for the elderly. Over the years, the five-acre site within 343-acre Central Park had several uses—including being a disposal site for concrete debris from the original 405 freeway construction. Rather than hauling the debris offsite, the City chose to recycle the debris, and the contractor crushed the debris on-site for use in the fill. To ensure compatibility with the surrounding environment, input on the plant palette was solicited from the Friends of Shipley Nature Center, an environmental group that operates the nearby Shipley Nature Center in Central Park. Bio-swales were installed in the parking lot to improve water quality.

Nearly 4,000 attended the grand opening, illustrating the community’s need, excitement and support for the new facility. Grand Entry volunteers welcome visitors where they slide personalized cards to register for services, events and activities or to view upcoming reservations on user-friendly computers. The comprehensive facility features classrooms; a computer lab; game, craft, dance and group fitness rooms; a fully-equipped fitness pavilion with state-of-the-art workout equipment; a commercial kitchen for preparation of daily lunches; and a separate kitchen for the home-delivered meals program and healthy cooking classes. The facility also houses a wide range of services including the Surf City Seniors on the Go transportation program and other services ranging from tax assistance to travel to basic health-monitoring. In any given week, more than 100 classes and activities are offered, over 2,300 meals are served and delivered to homes, and more than 1,000 seniors utilize services provided by the Senior Center.

Delivered on-schedule and under-budget, the new Senior Center enables the City to offer comprehensive social, recreational, educational and support services that will serve the evolving needs of its senior community well into the future.

CEC

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