We really don’t need a rec center. Really. Not like water. Not like air. It’s not a necessity. In fact, several residents have pointed out that our residents aren’t really school age. That’s true too. Actually the City of Frankenmuth has the highest median age in all of Saginaw County. The median age is 50.1 years. A total of 28.6% of the population is age 65 or older and 19.3% is 18 years or younger. So why focus on providing recreation?
Perhaps I am too young to say this, but I just don’t think 65 is that old. Definitely 50 is not old. I fully intend to be active at that age. But I suppose that’s more a personal choice. I think it’s a mistake to say that older residents aren’t interested in being active. I think there are quite a few who are incredibly active. In fact, I know that my former neighbor is 75 years or older and can wipe the tennis court with me any day of the week.
A mix of people, places, uses – it keeps our community strong
What concerns me is if more than a quarter of the population is older than 65 and half of the population is 50 years or older, what will happen in 20 years? Will our median age be 65 in 20 years? Senior citizens are a valued demographic. They are a stable neighborhood force. But a dynamic city, a thriving city, is a mix of people and places and uses. A Recreation Center for ALL residents to use really can be a reason for residents (not just families with young children) to stay in the City. It can be a reason for families to move to the City. It is not a need. It is a desire. It is an amenity. It is a quality of life question.
Could you be happy with just “the minimum”?
Frankenmuth has never been a community that has been satisfied with meeting basic needs. It has been a community that excels because it doesn’t accept the minimum. Think of what our community would be today if the people who live – and have lived here – were comfortable with just a community that is OK? That is good enough? A community that provides just the basics? That works just hard enough to be mediocre. Frankenmuth is not a C+ community. The people who live here wouldn’t accept that.
We think this Recreation Center is a chance to give more than just what is needed – it is a chance for our community to be more. It can be a place for all of us, regardless of age.