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Stylish new senior facility with pool opening at Arcola Lakes Park

Carla St.Louis | 4/17/2014, 9 a.m.
Members are greeted with palm trees and amber tones at the facility's front entrance.

A swank, new recreation facility in the West Little River neighborhood is turning heads among senior residents as park officials are set to unveil their latest addition to the sprawling Arcola Lakes Park.

Tucked behind leafy jogging trails, the one-story, 14,200 square foot facility will include an exercise room furnished with the latest fitness equipment to help keep seniors in shape.

Painted in light and dark amber colors, the facility will also have entertainment rooms with flat screen televisions. In the arts, crafts and ceramics room, members will create personalized pottery with a Kiln. Just down the hall is a banquet-meeting room complete with a portable performance stage for special events.

For water lovers, the center has an outdoor therapeutic pool, a whirlpool spa surrounded

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A therapeutic pool and whirlpool await members seeking to swim, exercise or relax.

by 8,324-square-feet of deck space. Members will be able to sunbathe on lounge chairs or sit under a canopy on the patio. Once the facility opens, a lifeguard and a first-aid station will be provided.

The center will not be open to youth nor adults.

Located at 1301 NW 83rd Street, the building is in its final stages of construction, awaiting permit approvals and inspections prior to opening.

The premise's entrance and lighted parking lot are flanked with palm trees and potted plants. It is easily accessible to individuals with disabilities and features a passenger drop-off entrance, a lobby and reception area, and an exhibit hallway with built-in display cases and staff offices.

The senior citizens facility is part of the park's 19-acre property that already includes tennis, racquetball and handball courts, a recreation center and playground. Arcola Lakes Park also features a walking and jogging trail, picnic shelters and open fields for play. The park has an active 55 and older club that would benefit from the new facility.

RESIDENTS EAGERLY AWAIT OPENING

Residents are eagerly awaiting for the center's grand opening, which is expected in late May, according to Laura Philips, information officer for the Miami-Dade County Parks Recreation and Open Spaces.

"This center was constructed due to a critical need to provide additional park space in this under-served community," said Philips. It's expected to be a social hub for the elderly community of Arcola Lakes.

"I'm waiting for it," said Harriete Brown, 60, a charming mahogany-skinned woman with youthful looks. "It's a need for this particular community that we can enjoy. And I'm looking forward to their pool," she added.

Brown’s husband, Charlie James Emerson, 63, is looking forward to not having to venture to neighboring Charles Hadley Park to use its community center.

“It’s great that we have a place like this in our immediate vicinity,” said Emerson, a retired accountant. “Hadley Park was getting a little crowded.”

“Every community should have a senior center like this,” he said. “Us old folks, we worked hard, did our time and contributed to our community. It’s a convenient place to discuss what's going on in our community.”

A concerned citizen and native of Miami-Dade County, Brown has frequented Arcola Lakes Park for years.