BROOKSVILLE — After a year of negotiation, the City Council has approved plans to convert a storage building at the Brooksville Quarry golf course into a senior enrichment center and an emergency special-needs shelter.
The 40-year lease agreed to Monday night between the city and Enrichment Centers of Hernando County Inc. paves the way for $700,000 in state and county grants.
The money will turn the 96-year-old concrete and steel structure into a two-story facility that also will house a golf pro shop and a museum chronicling the county's mining industry.
Enrichment Centers of Hernando president Nick Morana said the deal will allow the group, which now operates in the Jerome Brown Community Center, to have a permanent home where it can serve even more clients.
"We just want to see good things happen," Morana said. "This is going to help everyone."
Morana, whose organization also operates a center at Oak Hill Hospital, said plans for a facility that would have doubled as a shelter have been developed for some time but a lack of funding stalled the initiative.
Morana said $600,000 will come from a state grant aimed at providing a hurricane-proof shelter for persons with special physical and medical needs. The other $100,000 will come from a county senior services grant.
Engineers said the city-owned building, built of reinforced steel and concrete and now used to store equipment and machinery, is in good condition with only minor structural issues.
Plans call for a second-story activities room, with an elevator for access, a kitchen for preparing congregate meals and a "meals on wheels" program.
The bottom floor will house the pro shop and additional storage. The agreement calls for the city and the enrichment center to split the cost of utilities.
Morana said he expects construction on the building to begin sometime in December.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.