Focus Group with Seniors at Hills & Dales Community Center

Seniors Focus Group
Hills & Dales Community Center
Imagine Dubuque Group Discussion
October 25, 2016


From creative campus-style senior housing to opportunities to bring seniors and kids together, sharp ideas were flowing at the Imagine Dubuque Senior Workshop held on October 25th from 12:30 to 1:30pm at the Hills & Dales Community Center.

Conversation Takeaways + Highlights

More Community Centers

  • Integrate kids with seniors, “We love seeing the babies and kids here.”
  • Great food is a major plus
  • Integrated activities, “Halloween parade, etc. wherein the different age groups and need levels interact is very nice.”
  • Ruby Sutton Multicultural Family Center is a plus
  • Health care services are sufficient

More Housing Types for Seniors

  • A creative, campus-style approach, “Something where all the houses face into a centrally shared patio space.”
  • There are waiting lists at almost all of the existing senior apartments.
  • More single-family homes that cater to seniors (ADA accessible, single-level or ground floor amenities including washer/dryer)
  • Housing that caters to senior couples with varying needs is of growing importance
  • Meals-to-go offers greater flexibility

Better selection of sit down restaurants

  • Panera-style restaurants are great, but too much work to get your food
  • More buffets
  • Tony Roma’s and Houlihan’s is a plus

Transportation + Public Works

  • Chavenelle Road is very rough – should be repaved
  • The alleys are in better shape than the roads
  • Need better sound barrier along Route 20 for the residents living alongside there
  • Have to be familiar with one-ways downtown (i.e. turning across thru lanes of traffic can be a problem)
  • Maintain City flowerbeds near Port of Dubuque
  • The detention basin near 32nd Street is overgrown


  • Eagle Point Park band shell needs new seating, and overall park could use enhancement
  • Volunteers or workers’ program could improve the parks
  • Heritage Trail is popular among young people


  • Arboretum is fantastic, Japanese Garden is a nice escape
  • 4th Street Elevator
  • The Hills & Dales Community Center
  • Riverfront / Museum
  • Casino
  • Shot Tower
  • Lock and Dam #11
  • Derby Grange Golf and Recreation
  • Beecher’s Ice Cream


  • Area around Jackson Park needs to be safer, “I don’t shop at the grocery store over there after 3pm.”
  • Seniors can be looked at as targets so safety is important


  • Need to attract more businesses / manufacturing jobs
  • Need the type of jobs that will bring younger couples to Dubuque


  • We need to see things before we buy them
  • We don’t shop online
  • Kennedy mall is just o.k.
  • Prefer Kohl’s in Asbury Plaza Shopping Center
  • Shop in St. Cloud, MN, Madison, Wi, Davenport, IA
  • Grocery needed in Washington neighborhood

Buildings for Adaptive Reuse

  • Old bowling alley on Finger Street
  • Old publishing building
  • H&W Motor Plant on Jackson (the roof fell in)

Dubuque’s Biggest Asset

  • Friendly
  • Perfect place to live and raise a family
  • Beautiful
  • Investment in the arts

Dubuque’s Biggest Change

  • Riverfront
  • 2nd Street Bridge
  • Streets are better than before

Dubuque’s Biggest Challenge

  • Race and bullying
  • Better paying jobs to keep younger generation here

Those with Special Needs

  • Biggest challenge is overwhelmingly transportation for those who can live independently
  • Jobs offered to those with special needs at Papa John’s, Texas Roadhouse, grocery bagging, recycling center


Connect Today

  1. Share your ideas on the future of Dubuque
  2. View all the great ideas submitted to date from fellow Dubuquers
  3. Download the free project app
  4. Take the Economic Prosperity Quick Poll

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