A plan to build several health and activity centers for seniors in Oklahoma City was revised during a meeting of the MAPS advisory board on Thursday.
The board will recommend the city council next month adopt a revamped list of expectations for potential operators of the centers, with hopes that more flexibility will attract a more diverse group of bidders.
A similar call for proposals last year produced only two bids, neither of which generated excitement among board members or the subcommittee that is overseeing the project's development.
“Some people thought it had to be built on city-owned land,” said Michael Dover, chairman of the subcommittee and a member of the MAPS advisory board. “It just wasn't a good fit.”
The senior health and wellness centers were among the most popular of eight projects included in the MAPS 3 program, a major sales tax-backed capital improvements project approved by city voters in 2009.
Initial plans called for four centers, but the project outline approved Thursday gives potential operating partners a chance to propose what they think will be the most efficient way to operate this kind of facility.
Dover said that could mean four different groups operating four different centers, one group operating two larger centers, or any combination in-between.
The only thing concrete: Whoever operates the centers must be focused on providing affordable and reliable health and recreational activities to the city's 50-and-older population, and that includes a swimming pool for therapy.