AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Since 1973, Amarillo College has leased a 29,000 square foot space to the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association for $1 a year. In order for the college to build an innovation hub, the college announced its plan to relocate the seniors to a smaller space at the Downtown Campus.
“Amarillo College has been a real friend for the seniors,” said Judy Jackman, board member for the Amarillo Senior Citizen Association.
Amarillo College received enough funds to transform the space into an innovation hub for its students and community and will relocate the seniors to another space at the Downtown Campus.
“The Amarillo College Board of Regents voted in May of 2018 to pursue a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce that would provide some funding for the creation of an innovation hub to serve as a technological economic driver at the Downtown Campus,” said Wes Condray-Wright, director of communications and marketing and Amarillo College.
Amarillo College says regardless of the outcome of the bond, the college plans to continue to build the innovation hub since it received the grant funds.
“I think that a lot of seniors kind of felt like the seniors would have this building for the next hundred years and never really thought about what would happen if Amarillo College wanted this building back,” said Jackman.
If the bond passes in the May election, money would be allocated to renovate the new space based upon the seniors’ needs.
“They will be moving into the Exhibit Hall, the former band room, and in that space there is a kitchen that could be renovated into a space that would provide a commercial grade kitchen for them,” said Condray-Wright.
However, after 40 years of the AC’s services, many seniors feel that it is time for the community to step up and help the seniors.
“All senior citizen communities have an umbrella that looks after them; in most places, it’s the city council. Just like what happened in 1973, people that cared about seniors stepped up to the plate to make sure there was an answer for retired people. Well, we’re there again, we need help,” said Jackman.
Amarillo College will provide a new space for seniors, the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association is open to other solutions to add additional space and improve it’s clubs and programs.