Victoria rest home building owner presents ideas to city council – Hays Post

1635537165180

By JAMES BELL

Hays Post

VICTORIA — After a community gathering last month that explored ideas for the former Rest Home facility in Victoria, owner Jeff Pfeifer last week appeared before the city council to share how some of those ideas would work in the nearly 42,000-square-foot facility.

“Overall, there was a lot of interest in (the) historical society using space, a lot of interest in the Rec Center using the space, a lot of interest in a daycare, for children to daycare for adults, and then senior housing,” Pfeifer said.

He said after the meeting he started looking at how the ideas could come together and worked to put potential concepts for the facility together.

One of the most pressing issues, he said, could be implemented is the creation of a child care facility.

“I have focused on the child care trying to get that open within the year.” Pfeifer said. “I would love to have some kids in there in 2022.”

The potential plan also includes room for the Ellis County Historical Society and the Victoria Recreation Commission.

1635703040419

“In this scheme, the Ellis County Historical Society could take space, they’ve expressed an interest in some space, possibly storage and maybe a satellite campus,” Pfeifer said. “They’ve always also expressed interest in more than that.”

He also noted that as the city has been contemplating finding a larger meeting space and the former chapel in the building could be an option for the city. 

“And I think that could be a multi-use space for the long term,” Pfeifer said. “Whoever gets it, I would hope that they would allow other people to use it including City Hall, or the City Hall can rent it and allow other people to use it for whatever for their city council meetings.

“We also have an outdoor play area for the daycare, we’ve got some outdoor display area for the museum. And then the draw area would be just permanent open space.”

A secondary plan, presented would include space that could be used for housing, or some sort of treatment facility, and space for the Rec Center.

1635703073174

“I’m not going to speak for them,” Pfeifer said. “But I will say they saw the drawings and they are all right with them. We also had a discussion that this might not be the ideal site for them, that they haven’t got there yet.

“They were all right with the Greenway plan, the park plan and the rec plan as shown,” Pfeifer said. “But they weren’t convinced that this was the best site because they just hadn’t studied that far yet.”

The Greenway plan, as presented, would connect parks and facilities together in the city and take advantage of the large amount of open space around the building.

1635703115612

“This got me excited,” Pfeifer said. “This is land that’s there. This is land that is ready, open space in the city of Victoria. I have done rec plans in many states in the United States and, and they have to acquire land, they have to find it, and weed through parts. But this plan shows all the open spaces already there.

The trail, he said would be about a 2-mile loop.

“The other part about the Greenway is this connection,” Pfeifer said. 

“It connects the community uses the pool the playground and basketball and tennis,” he said. “And we talked about this in the rec commission meeting just the other night about where a logical spot for the Rec Center could be. I think it was you agree that it should be somewhere on the Greenway trail, maybe in a central location.”