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

OZ Architecture-designed senior center will expand access to vital social connections, amenities, and health services to enhance the quality of life for aging adults in Douglas County.

The Highlands Ranch Senior Center, a 15,600 square-foot facility centrally located on the south side of Highlands Ranch Parkway and east of Broadway, has officially topped out. The center will offer services and programs for seniors and their families. It includes 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 results from years of planning between the Highlands Ranch Metro District, Douglas County, 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 would be a welcome addition to the surrounding community. The design emphasizes comfort and familiarity, incorporating stone, wood accents, and pitched roofs to mimic the traditional architectural vernacular in surrounding neighborhoods. The new facility also uses 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 well-being.