New multi-gen­er­a­tional cen­ter com­ing to Wal­dorf in 2018

Maryland Independent - - COMMUNITY FORUM -

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.

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