Alabaster to construct new senior activities center

City seniors soon will have a new place to relax and recreate after the Alabaster City Council approved construction of a new senior activities center during its Oct. 15 meeting.

The announcement came after the City Council accepted a $749,547 bid from Montevallo-based Wayne Davis Construction. Once completed, the activities center will be located on a portion of the 22 city-owned acres near the former Buck Creek Mill site.

Although the council previously approved the new senior center about seven months ago, design changes to building required it to be rebid.

“We worked with an architect to make some design changes to the building,” Alabaster Mayor David Frings said. “I feel the bids that came in fit very well with the money we have earmarked for this project.”

The project will be funded by city money and funds from Shelby County and the county’s Community Health Foundation. Work on the project is expected to begin within the next few months.

“This is something that people have put a lot of work into,” said Ward 2 Councilman Rick Walters. “It’s good to see it finally coming to fruition.”

The senior center likely will be one of the first major projects overseen by the city’s new Parks and Recreation Department director, who may be hired within the next few weeks, Frings said.

“The application period for that position has ended, and we ended up having about 45 applicants,” Frings said. “We have narrowed it down to the top five candidates, and we will bring them in for an interview within the next week or so.

“I’d like for us to finalize this so we can get it behind us,” Frings added.

Alabaster has been without a full-time recreation director since former director Larry Vann resigned from the position June 2. Since then, Athletic Manager Ricky Nance has served as interim director.

In other business, the council:

Agreed to allow the Alabaster Public Library to pay a 30 percent match on a $50,000 state grant to repave the library’s parking lot. The library’s matching funds could be up to $15,000.

Approved the installation of 11 street lights in the city’s Simmsville neighborhood. The lights will be added to existing utility poles along Shelby County Highway 11 and throughout the area’s residential streets.