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Taylorsville Journal

New pickleball courts latest amenity designed to boost post-pandemic visitor numbers at Taylorsville Senior Center

Mar 04, 2024 12:23PM ● By Carl Fauver

Taylorsville Senior Center employee Peter Rackl, along with volunteers Dan Jones and Gary Shelton (L-R), heat and serve lunches five days a week. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

If you’ve driven by the Taylorsville Senior Center (4743 South Plymouth View Drive, about 1600 West) in recent months, you’ve seen the biggest change there, even if you didn’t stop the car. You had to… couldn’t miss it… because the newest addition to the venerable center isn’t inside the building. You have to walk across their reconfigured parking lot to get to it.

Or, to get to “them” – four of them – to be more precise.

“I’m so pleased with the four new pickleball courts at the senior center,” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson said. “That is such a great addition to the site. I’m sure once more seniors discover they are there, the courts will be busy.”

The four new Taylorsville Senior Center pickleball courts are among ten the city constructed last year. Four more were built as the first amenity at the planned Tank Park (NW corner of 6200 S. 3200 West). The final two are now getting plenty of use at Vista Park (4900 S. 1950 West).

Taylorsville Senior Center Manager Mike Potter says the new courts haven’t been getting a lot of use yet; but that’s primarily because cold weather arrived just about the time they were being completed last year. He knows seniors, and others, will start putting them to more use now that Old Man Winter’s grip is loosening.

“The courts are not actually associated with the senior center; they are open to everyone,” Potter said. “Players don’t reserve times; they are first come, first serve. Players need to bring their own equipment. The courts were finished just before the weather turned – so I haven’t seen many people on them, so far.”

Potter has worked for Salt Lake County 13 years and within its Aging and Adult Services Division the past eight years. He began working at the Taylorsville Senior Center as program coordinator just as the facility was reopening following the COVID-19 shutdown. Less than a year later he was promoted to center manager.

“I had worked at other senior centers before, but (Taylorsville) is where I wanted to work,” Potter said. “I like our seniors here. I like the programs we offer. And our Advisory Committee is extremely helpful. They coordinate many different activities for our seniors.”

Kelly Sullivan, 80, has been a Taylorsville Senior Center “regular” for 20 years. He’s been the Advisory Committee President seven of those years – since long before COVID-19 arrived.

“Our visitation is back up to about 80% to 85% of what it was before the pandemic,” Sullivan said. “COVID forced many seniors to change their habits. People got better at being at home – being alone. But now new seniors are coming all the time.”

The Taylorsville Senior Center Advisory Committee coordinates several monthly activities, including: a morning biscuits and gravy breakfast… a midday ice cream social… an evening dinner with entertainment… and a bus excursion to Wendover.

“It’s all about giving people things to do so they don’t feel isolated,” Sullivan said “Centers like ours are one of the best places for seniors to go. You can just come over, have some coffee and have someone to talk with so you’re not by yourself.”

Sullivan goes to the Taylorsville Senior Center almost daily – and calls bingo games on three of the days (Monday and Wednesday at 1 p.m., Fridays at 10 a.m.).

Another Advisory Committee member, Virginia Watts, 83, is the primary operator of the senior center thrift store.

Several months after Potter became center manager, Lindsey Beyeler was hired to replace him as program coordinator. She’s been in her post since December 2022.

“I knew Lindsey from when we both worked at the (Salt Lake County) Government Center during the pandemic,” Potter added. “She’s doing a good job with our many programs. She’s always trying new activities. Some are a hit, and some aren’t. I know she’s had two big hits since getting here: our weekly ‘Drums Alive’ class and the monthly book club.”

Potter and Beyeler are the only two fulltime Salt Lake County Employees at the Taylorsville Senior Center. Office Specialist Daisy Figueroa and Kitchen Coordinator Peter Rackl are the only two part timers. Rackl is assisted by kitchen volunteers Dan Jones and Gary Shelton every day.

“I had just moved to Taylorsville a few months before Mike asked me to shift from working at the (Salt Lake County) Government Center to the Taylorsville Senior Center as program coordinator,” Beyeler said. “The change shortened my commute. But, more important, I had been looking for a change. I wanted to be more directly involved with seniors. I like coming out with new programming.”

Last month, Beyeler coordinated a fiction writing workshop. This month, she will launch a twice-weekly tai chi class, designed to assist seniors with balance and coordination. 

Beyeler has also invited guest speakers from the state Home Energy Assistance Target Program to discuss benefits and eligibility guidelines. Intended to assist low-income households with their utility costs, the HEAT Program is operated through the Utah Department of Workforce Services. That presentation is scheduled for March 21from 9 a.m. to noon.

As for the weekly “Drums Alive” class, Beyeler says that involves seniors rhythmically hitting large exercise balls with drum sticks.

A quick glance at the Taylorsville Senior Center monthly calendar shows there are simply too many scheduled activities to all be mentioned in a single article. To learn more, visit Or call the Taylorsville Senior Center at 385-468-3370.

But Potter, Beyeler and Sullivan all agree, the better bet is to visit the Taylorsville Senior Center to see everything they have to offer for yourself.

For married couples, only one of you has to be at least age 60 for both of you to visit. The Taylorsville Senior Center is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s closed on weekends and major holidays.

Hot lunches are served every day, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The 40 to 50 meals served at the center each day are among the 400,000 prepared annually at Salt Lake County’s central kitchen. Nearly half of those are delivered to seniors at their homes.

Finally, don’t forget, even when the Taylorsville Senior Center is closed, the four shiny new pickleball courts next door are open to anyone. λ

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