Stephenville City Council looks into transforming former gym into the Senior Center.


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


I’ve got good news and good news.


Stephenville’s senior population will likely have a new place to gather soon – and that tree that everyone has been concerned about – well, that will live on in peace, as well.

The Stephenville City Council on Tuesday voted to enter into a contract with a group that owns The Fitness Center on Wolfe Nursery Road and convert the building into the Senior Center.


The move comes after construction on a site for a new center was halted over concerns that it would likely impact the health of a 400-year-old live oak tree.

“It is important that we keep our minds open when new opportunities present themselves,” councilman Ricky Thurman told Beneath the Surface News. “This opportunity has potential to serve the citizens more effectively than the original plan, but we need some time to do some more due diligence and this contract allows us that.”


The contract gives the council 60 days to get estimates on the cost of the remodel and do additional research to ensure the building is a feasible prospect.

If all goes as planned, the city will close on the property in 75 days. The cost of The Fitness Center building is $1.3 million.


The Fitness Center building, which once housed a gym, has been vacant for some time.


“Our senior citizens have waited years to get an upgraded building and I look forward to moving this project forward,” councilman David Baskett said. “They deserve this.”