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Pinecrest

Pinecrest ponders upgrades to Community Center

 

bvaldes@MiamiHerald.com

The time has come to give Pinecrest’s Community Center a makeover.

The Village Council first introduced the idea to expand the center and its programming in its strategic plan adopted May 2010.

Now the council is negotiating a contract with Bermello Ajamil & Partners, an architectural firm in Miami, to develop a master plan and determine the demands of the center.

“The study would assess current facility use and programming, conduct a survey of current facility users, and work with the Community Center Advisory Committee to determine if an expansion is warranted,” said Yocelyn Galiano Gomez, the village manager.

Once completed, the village will decide what to expand. The firm said a meeting to negotiate a contract has yet to be scheduled, and the cost of such a plan depends on the scope and timeline of the project, adding that a project of this sort can take anywhere from five to nine months.

The Village Council allocated $131,000 for developing the plan. In a memo to the council dated Monday, Galiano Gomez said she hopes to have the plans complete by October.

Since the Community Center opened its doors five years ago, new programming has continuously been offered and membership continues to increase.

Some activities offered at the Community Center include dance lessons, karate classes, Mandarin Chinese lessons, photography classes, line dancing and various lectures.

A spinning facility that was added to the center last July had a total of 262 participants in the first three months. Now the program has a total of 1,167 participants, according to the village.

Loren Matthews, the village’s director of parks and recreation, said fitness programming is one area where expansion may be necessary.

“In recreation, the trends change all the time,” Matthews said. “But with everyone being health conscious and the kids’ obesity issue, we want to be able to provide things for them.”

On May 29, the council held a community meeting and residents voiced what they wanted to see more of in the Community Center.

“We are getting together with focus groups to get a good example of the population in Pinecrest and an idea of what the community wants,” said Matthews.

She does not know when the next focus group will take place because “we are very early in the preliminary stages,” but like the council, Matthews hopes to have a final plan by the fall.

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