New multi-generational center coming to Waldorf in 2018
Community centers have an important role in society — helping you meet new people, connecting with your community and increasing your quality of life. To better serve you, there will be a new multi-generational community center in Waldorf with activities and services for all ages, expected to open in July 2018.
Located in the heart of Waldorf, the center is readily accessible via public and private transit, and walkable from surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. The space will be fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility for all abilities. The new facility is also a renovated existing building, which brings new purpose and meaningful services to the community without added cost or lengthy time for new construction.
The new facility will be operated jointly by the Department of Community Services, Aging and Senior Programs Division, and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism to provide exciting programs in a single location while extending access to all ages.
To ensure the new facility was the right fit, staff visited several premier recreational facilities throughout the state. A consistent observation was that larger centers could be programmed to address senior center activities during traditional daytime hours, and provide space and recreational programming geared towards children, youth and families into the evening and weekend hours. The new center will model these premier facilities, and provide for the needs of specific age groups while offering services to a much larger segment of the community.
As our senior population continues to grow, the number of participants at the current Waldorf Senior Center, located within the Greater Waldorf Jaycees, has exceeded the space for programs. The new facility, which is approximately 30,000 square feet, will provide six times more space. This additional space will make room for increased services and programs to meet the diverse needs of our growing county.
For seniors, the additional space will assist with enhancing the older adult programming. Examples of expanded services include dedicated fitness areas for individual and group exercise classes, educational and personal enrichment opportunities, arts and crafts, health and wellness programs, and civic engagement programs, such as volunteerism and hosting community forums or presentations. For children, youth and families, many of these same programs and activities will carry on into the evening and weekend hours.
Next steps before the facility is ready include designing the interior spaces to meet the needs of participants, renovating the existing space to permit the type of programming to be offered and acquiring the necessary equipment and supplies to carry out the programs and services.
We hope you visit the new multi-generational center when we open in summer 2018. Invite your family and friends to enjoy what Charles County has to offer. After all, in our county, fun happens here.
Haywood Evans is the Charles County Director of Community Services. Eileen Minnick is the Charles County Director of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism.