City helps KASZ organization in acquiring senior activity center

by David White

The Kyle Area Senior Zone (KASZ) organization is beginning its first steps in acquiring an independent senior activity center. The KASZ organization welcomes all retired residents to its activities, and currently meets at the Krug Activity Center in Kyle, the former city hall, where they have been meeting for 16 years.

Vanessa Westbrook, Program Entertainment Coordinator, says the group has outgrown the building and sometimes has to turn away patrons at big events because they are over capacity. She cited Thanksgiving as an example in which there wasn’t enough seating and they had to turn people away. “We gave them food to go, but we still didn’t have room for them,” she added. “It was heartbreaking.”

Area seniors gather at the Krug Activity Center 5-7 days a week, but sometimes the events run over capacity, according to Program Entertainment Coordinator Vanessa Westbrook, and patrons have had to be turned away in the past.

Last year, the KASZ group approached the City Council to help its efforts and the city of Kyle has donated the land for the activity center and agreed to match $200,000 out of the city’s 2022 budget, contingent on the fact that Hays County and the organization each raise another $200,000. The combined $600,000 would be used for construction ready building plans. At that time, Jerry Hendrix, Assistant City Manager for Kyle, says once the construction plans are complete, the organization will rely on its fundraising campaign – the Capital Campaign Fund – and applications for grants to raise money for the construction. Hendrix says, if all goes well, the city could potentially break ground in 2022.

The proposed activity center is a 35,000 square-foot building, with several rooms for different activities to be held at the same time. Westbrook adds that KASZ will welcome other community organizations to have activities there, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and other groups, to bring the younger community together with the older community.

The center will be located by Linebarger Lake, behind Tobias Elementary School. The proposed center will be on city owned land off of Creekside Trail.

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