By GREG SCELLIN
The committee working on getting a Geneva Community Center built north of the Fillmore County Hospital and east of the Fillmore Central Elementary School conducted its third of three question and answer sessions over the lunch hour last Wednesday at the Geneva Senior Center. Meetings also took place at the Geneva Public Library on August 22 and September 9.
Committee member Nancy Meyer, who moved to Geneva in 1980 with husband Stan and raised four kids here—one, Alex, still lives in Geneva, led the session. Meyer said $1.5 million is in the bank earmarked for the project. This money is mainly from two grants—only $50,000 is from individuals. This number will have to grow significantly, as the committee is hoping to have 60 percent of the project funded by private donations and grants.
Meyer said the senior center portion of the new community center would seat 100 and also have a covered entrance. An activity gym would also be located at the site. Geneva City Administrator Kyle Svec said the city would like to have the new gym open as much as possible. But, a Geneva Parks and Rec. person would have to be on site during this time. Parking would also be a big plus at the location inside the new Geneva housing addition—as many as 100 parking spots would be possible.
After fielding a question about why the committee eliminated the old Fillmore County Hospital location, both Svec and Meyer said the ground at the location was found to not be suitable to be built on. They also said many other locations were researched and eliminated.
Another person at the meeting mentioned that the proposed location might be too far from downtown and make it difficult for current senior center users to be able to utilize.
“I would hate to build a senior center out there that nobody comes too,” he said. “People are coming here…will they be able to get out there?”
Svec said, he feels the location in the housing division is a good one to expand the offerings of the Geneva Parks & Rec. Department.
“It really fits nicely in that spot,” Svec said. “Parks & Rec is not able to fit in all the programs that are requested where we’re at now. We hope to expand our programs. The soil there is not suitable for building…this is the overriding factor. At the end of the day, I feel we explored all our options and this is where we’re at.”