The City of La Porte Park and Recreation Board Wednesday approved an agreement to temporarily relocate the Activity Center for Older Adults to Heritage Place, according to Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber.
Heritage Place, located at 910 Lincolnway, is just feet away from the current center. The agreement, which will be executed upon final approval by Northwest Health, calls for a three-year, rent-free lease, with the Park Department covering utilities.
The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte granted the Park Department operating funds through the end of 2023 and has also been facilitating a strategic plan for the ACOA. The strategic planning committee has been meeting over the past three months to create clarity on the mission and vision of the program as well as an action plan for the short- and long-term viability of the ACOA.
“The City of La Porte is home to 4,121 adults 65 years and older, which translates into 18.7 percent of the population,” said Maria Fruth, President and CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. “This segment of our community deserves vibrant programming and resources an Activity Center for Older Adults provides. Healthcare Foundation of La Porte is pleased to facilitate the creation of a strategic plan for the Center and continue to fund operations as the City looks for possible funding avenues. It is imperative we continue to invite the community to be active and social at all ages.”
“The new location keeps the ACOA on one main level while increasing the space available for a variety of programming by 80 percent,” the city said in a press release. “Along with the generous terms from Northwest Health, accessibility and location were the major factors in selecting the Heritage Place location.”
With a temporary location now in place, Schreiber said the planning process will turn to growing the membership and developing a new facility for future generations of La Porte residents.
“Although we have only been operating the ACOA for just over a year, we have a grand vision for the type of facility and programming our older adults deserve,” Schreiber said. “While the current location has served its purpose, we need to set our expectations higher and another renovation of the old fire station was not an option.
The ACOA was opened three decades ago by Swanson Center after renovations to the 1907 fire station at 901 State Street. In 2021, the City and Swanson Center agreed to end the lease on the building. With that transition, the Park Department assumed full operations of the ACOA in April 2022.
“We were never going to be able to provide the level of programming and services we foresee by staying at the old fire station. We are committed to achieving the goal of a new, state-of-the-art facility with the support of our community partners.”
For more information on programming, call the ACOA at 219-362-5354.