Bend Senior Center activities and classes have temporarily moved to Marshall High School and Juniper Swim & Fitness Center during the next stage of construction at the Larkspur Community Center.

Demolition began inside the building Monday, said Brian Hudspeth, the construction manager for the project. Construction crews will also be working waterline connections and digging footings for the foundation this week. The expansion will connect directly to the existing senior center but will have glass doors separating it from where all-ages activities take place.

Bend Park & Recreation District began construction in April.

“So far everything is moving along like we thought,” Hudspeth said.

The work will result in a 34,000 square-foot expansion of the existing 14,000-square-foot Bend Senior Center. When the expansion is complete, it will be known as the Larkspur Community Center.

The expansion was a reaction to growing demand and overcrowding at the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center, an all-purpose workout facility managed by the park district.

The expansion will add a separate wing featuring an indoor pool, areas for group exercises, a lazy river and a 9,800-square-foot second story that will include an indoor walking track. The senior center currently hosts between 80 and 90 fitness classes a week and hosts about 80,000 visitors per year.

With a $23.4 million price tag, the project is considered to be the single largest project in Bend Park & Recreation District history.

Classes are scheduled to reconvene at the senior center by Sept. 3, with the full expansion slated to be complete by next fall.

The senior center, built by the city of Bend but owned and operated by the park district, first opened in 2001.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, bvisser@bendbulletin.com

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