For the last six years Maricopa Seniors have been one of the main groups using the Copa Center, located on the southeast corner of Honeycutt Road and State Route 347, as a place to meet, socialize and volunteer. On March 1, 2017, the Arizona Department of Transportation will take over the Copa Center and eventually demolish the building to make room for the SR 347 overpass.

During a City Council Work Session on Tuesday, Oct. 18, City Council gave staff direction to make finding space for the Seniors a priority and to ensure that at least one of the activity rooms at Copper Sky is available for seniors beginning in March unless another solution presents itself.

A nonprofit group has requested to lease one of the activity rooms at Copper Sky on a long-term basis. Based on the direction Council gave City staff this lease will not affect the possibility of seniors using an activity room at Copper Sky on a more permanent basis.

“We don’t want to create any arrangement that would prevent us from relocating the seniors and churches to Copper Sky that will be displaced once the Copa Center goes away,” summarized City Manager Gregory Rose after receiving input from all of the councilmembers.

Council also directed staff to explore the option of utilizing rooms that are vacant during the day at some of the Maricopa Unified School District (MUSD) properties.

“MUSD has rooms that are sitting unused during the day. We need to find a way to work within the intergovernmental agreement that the City currently has with MUSD to use that space. Whether it’s the City paying a little bit here or there or them donating that space because they know that the City needs it,” Councilmember Vincent Manfredi said.

City staff is in the process of evaluating all options and will update Council on their solution.

The City has an Age-Friendly Committee with the goal of connecting people 60 years plus with people of all ages in order to decrease social isolation and to increase access to services, social opportunities and recreation. The group holds public meeting the third Monday of the month at City Hall at 4 p.m.

The Age-Friendly Committee is hosting the second Senior Information Expo at City Hall on Jan. 21, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and hosts the Age-Friendly Game Night at Copper Sky on the last Friday the month.