Urbana’s planning commission on Monday unanimously approved, with conditions, a site plan for a 8,405-square-foot, one-story Urbana/Champaign County Senior Center with parking lot access on Patrick Avenue. Zoning Officer Adam Moore reviewed several comments from a technical review committee, then said that city staff recommended approval contingent upon the city staff working with the applicant to address technical review comments.
Outstanding issues regard construction standards for the street curb, potential parking concerns for large events, exterior lighting plans, which have not yet been added to the drawings, and the size of the water meter pit. Moore also suggested that the designers may want to replace trees being removed from the construction site.
“This is certainly not the worst one, by far, that we have ever reviewed, as far as comments are concerned,” said Moore. “These seem relatively minor fixes, so I think we’ll be able to work through these fairly easily.”
All comments were relayed to project architect Karen Beasley, who was present at this meeting along with Senior Center Vice President Mary Lee Gecowets, who chairs the Senior Center’s five-member building committee.
Gecowets asked whether a permit would be needed to display a sign stating that the lot on Patrick Avenue is the future home of the Senior Center. Moore said a temporary sign would be allowed for the length of construction.
“People are anxious about seeing that we are moving ahead, and there’s been nothing there,” said Gecowets. “And, of course, we’re all closed, as well. The Senior Center has closed because of the COVID, so they’re very anxious to know that we’re meeting tonight and we’re moving ahead.”
Thomas & Marker Construction of Bellefontaine is the construction manager. This was the lowest of three bidders that competed in a public process, necessary because the Senior Center is using tax dollars for this project.
For several years, the Senior Center has had a 0.4-mill operating levy. During this past spring’s primary, voters approved a five-year, 0.5-mill levy for the new Senior Center.
Civista Bank donated the 2.2 acres of land to the Senior Center last year.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304