State-of-the-Art Senior Center Tops Out in Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch Senior Center, courtesy of OZ Architecture.

OZ Architecture, together with Waner Construction and Highlands Ranch Metro District, recently celebrated the successful topping out of Highlands Ranch Senior Center, a 15,600-square-foot facility centrally located on the south side of Highlands Ranch Parkway and east of Broadway. Slated to open in early 2024, the Highlands Ranch Senior Center will offer services and programs for seniors and their families and include a satellite office for Douglas County Health & Human Services, serving as a hub for aging adults in the community to access vital health and social services tailored to their specific needs. 

The project is a result of years of planning between the Highlands Ranch Metro District, Douglas Country and the community. In 2017, the Highlands Ranch Metro District conducted a feasibility study to determine the needs and services of the Highlands Ranch senior population, with results influencing the location and design of the Highlands Ranch Senior Center. Highlands Ranch Senior Center will serve residents with a state-of-the-art health club for chair or non-equipment-based fitness programs like Silver Sneakers, three activity rooms housing curated classes and group activities, and a 240-person event space with an adjoining prep kitchen. The facility will also feature on-site admin and office space for social services, providing information, resources and referrals for community members.  

“The goal for this project was to do more than create opportunities for fitness,” said Jami Mohlenkamp, principal and older adult practice area leader at OZ Architecture. “Supporting quality of life for older adults means creating opportunities for them to engage in a life of connection and fulfillment, alongside supporting their health and longevity. That goal is reflected in every aspect of the design of Highlands Ranch Senior Center. We look forward to seeing how this new community resource will contribute to healthier, more vital and activated older adults here in Highlands Ranch.”  

In addition to the thoughtful programming and services offered at the Highlands Ranch Senior Center, the design team sought to ensure the building itself would be a welcome addition to the surrounding community. The design emphasizes comfort and familiarity, incorporating materials like stone, wood accents and pitched roofs to mimic the traditional architectural vernacular found in the surrounding neighborhoods. The new facility also makes use of unique elements — from large format ceramic tile to gray standing seam metal roofing — marrying modern construction materials with large skylights and windows to usher in natural sunlight to create a serene setting for seniors to access essential services that enhance overall wellbeing. 

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