February 23, 2009

Friends of Seniors want another year in community center

The Friends of Seniors are hoping to stay another year in the former Lakeview Community Center on Main Street.

The organization is asking the city to extend its lease one year for $20,000. The lease expires on May 31.

There'd been some talk of the group leaving the space to make way for the Racine Zoo, which is located across the street. The seniors have been looking for a new space, but so far have been unsuccessful, according to a letter Dick Hinsman wrote to the city.

During a recent visit to the senior center, an organizer said the space was adequate but not ideal. The group would like a center that's a little bigger and is all on one level. Now, the center has a half-flight of stairs dividing the place roughly in half.

When looking for a new center, parking is a significant concern. The seniors need an abundance of parking near the front door for easy access.

Last May Racine Zoo CEO Jay Christie appeared before the Finance and Personnel Committee and asked the city to give the former Lakeview Community center to the zoo.

He argued, along with zoo chairman David Easley, that thousands of people would use the zoo. Now, hundreds of people use the building as a senior center.


  1. How much is the Zoo going to pay the city for the property?? The zoo spent a lot of money for the fancy entrance and then put in a a one room enducation center. I say keep the park and the $20M income from the seniors, the zoo is a poor investment.

  2. I agree, We use the baseball diamond for our park distict baseball team of little leaguers. We also use the playground. You have to pay now to get into the zoo. This would lock us out of this great free play area. The seniors deserve a dedicated community center. They pay for it. This might drive the seniors from the city. What an embarassment! The seniors belong in the city of Racine. The zoo does not need parking spaces right there. The parking is adequate right now.

  3. It says a lot for the zoo wanting to displace these seniors, and our city council is just the type to back them up. All they ever see is dollar signs.

    Why doesn't the zoo build its own center with an entrance off Main St. with no access to the zoo grounds for their meetings and leave our seniors alone. Have you seen the amount of undeveloped property at the zoo?