City's partners eye increased budgets for MAPS 3 wellness centers
More lockers. Not enough changing space.
Not enough showers. More privacy.
Those have been the greatest concerns for men and women who have flocked to the first two MAPS 3 senior health and wellness centers.
Langston University and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, the city of Oklahoma City's nonprofit operating partners in the third and fourth centers, say they want to get ahead of those problems before starting construction later this year.
So they are asking for more money.
"Are there opportunities for us to capture some additional funding up front so we don't have to come back to the table later?" Brandon Brooks, an assistant vice president at Langston, said Wednesday at a meeting of the MAPS 3 senior health and wellness centers advisory committee.
The city's partners in the first two centers, opened in 2017 and 2018, already have asked for expansion dollars and been granted $4.5 million by the city council.
Plans for the first center, operated by Healthy Living & Fitness Inc. at 11501 N Rockwell Ave., include doubling the size of the women's locker room, adding women's showers and renovating the existing men's and women's showers. The budget is $3.5 million.
Plans are to expand the locker rooms at the second center, operated by NorthCare at 4021 S Walker Ave., at a cost of up to $1 million.
Kelly Kay, YMCA president and CEO, said a "huge dynamic" in planning for the third and fourth centers has been incorporating lessons learned from the first two.
He said one of the Y's very first comments would have been "the locker rooms are too small."
"Rather than having to spend extra dollars to come back later to expand — and the locker rooms are probably the most expensive piece as far as the cost per square foot of the facility to begin with — I think it's important to get those right," Kay said.
Making sure centers three and four also have adequate indoor walking tracks is important, he said.
"Both of these facilities are going to attract a lot of new exercisers," Kay said, "and the track and the pool are going to be the place where they're the most comfortable."
The third center, designed by Hornbeek Blatt architects, will be built at NE 36 and Lincoln, in a development that includes a Homeland grocery store.
Langston is the city's lead partner, with the Y overseeing fitness activities. The budget is $14.1 million.
The Y is the lead partner on the fourth center, near SW 134 and Western Ave. Architect GSB is working with an initial budget of $14.2 million.
The city council has put about $16 million in the Healthy Living center on Rockwell and $14.7 million in NorthCare's center on Walker.
The MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board eventually will be asked to make a recommendation on increasing the budgets and square footage for the Langston and YMCA centers.
The council will make the final decision.