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Jennifer Thompson for Commissioner, District 4 Orange County

Renaissance Senior Center

When the sleek doors open to the Renaissance Senior Center at South Econ Community Park, an Orange County citizen walks into a diverse community entirely. There is a table of women gossiping in the lounge area. Men shoot pool in the room to the right. And everyone is proudly wearing a smile.

The Renaissance Senior Center offers a little bit of everything, from yoga and zumba to step aerobics for citizens in the area. But it’s not just seniors who can utilize the programs offered there.

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The Renaissance Senior Center offers a sense of community and a chance to socialize for citizens, and is just a part of the experience offered at South Econ Community Park.

“”It’s a senior center and all our programs are geared toward seniors but as long as you’re over the age of 18, you can come here as long as you fill out a registration and release form because we don’t discriminate against age,” says Sheryl Fleming, site supervisor for the center.

In fact, the only age requirement implemented in the facility is that you must be 55 or older to use the fitness room. Other stipulations to be met to attain the $10 yearly access include bringing a doctor’s note and attending the fitness orientation. According to Fleming, about 100 people use the fitness room on a day to day basis.

The recently added Orange County Orlando Magic Recreation Center next door is a fitting complement to the Renaissance Senior Center, offering a 24,000-square-foot gymnasium. Several group exercise classes are offered as well as an after school program and summer and spring camps to boot.

It is free for a youth membership to the recreation center, one of five new Orange County Orlando Magic Gymnasiums. A year membership to the facility costs $100 dollars for citizens of the ages 18-55.

The Renaissance Senior Center and Orange County Orlando Magic Recreation Center are nearly identical facilities according to Fleming; however, the addition of the Orange County Orlando Magic Recreation Center enables South Econ Community Park to truly have something to offer for all ages.  Fleming notes that the zumba, cardio dance, and indoor cycling classes at the Renaissance
Senior Center tend to also attract members of the 18 to 40 crowd in addition to the senior community. She adds that although the classes are geared toward seniors and are not as strenuous, they still provide a good work out.

A relatively new program offered at the Renaissance Senior Center includes the Running Club, a cardio class designed to complement the active adults course offered. Fleming says, “They’re looking for something more and more strenuous and more difficult and different, and so we created the Running Club and it’s working out really well.”

The senior center is state-of-th- art, spanning 30,000-square-feet, implementing such things as Smartboard technology, a ballroom that can be rented upon request, computer courses and railings throughout the perimeter of the facility.

“I’ve been in Senior Recreation since I graduated from college pretty much, and this is the first building that was actually designed for a Senior Center,” says Fleming.

Aside from the monthly dances and weekly movies, there is also a ping-pong room, domino room, and card/puzzle room.

“This place gives people a place to come and be social and also be active, and they love it. I mean we have regulars that are here seven days a week and they just love being here for the social aspect mostly,” says Fleming. “We are a social and recreation facility.”

Renaissance Senior Center at South Econ Community Park is located at 3800 S. Econlockhatchee
Trail Orlando, Florida 32829. For more information, call 407-254-9070.

Article by Jessica Inman

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