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Senior facility to open in south end
Services site will debut Friday
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Forsyth County News

If you go

What: Sexton Hall Enrichment Center open house

When: 10 a.m. Friday

Where: 2115 Chloe Road

Forsyth County’s newest recreational center for those 50 and older will debut Friday.

The 13,000-square-foot facility near Sharon Springs Park is intended to serve the county’s south-end residents during their golden years.

But senior services department director Shelley Johnson is avoiding a certain term in reference to the new Sexton Hall Enrichment Center.

“We deliberately don’t call our facilities ‘senior centers’ because people think of seniors being what they’re not,” Johnson said.

Forsyth County’s residents who participate in senior services activities take hikes, go dancing, travel, swim, socialize and more.

The Sexton Hall center — the county’s third — will concentrate on a new dimension of offerings.

“We’re calling it an ‘enrichment center’ because we’re wanting an emphasis not just on activities, but on lifelong learning,” Johnson said.

The center will focus on dancing, the arts and other engaging growth opportunities, she said.

At the open house and ribbon cutting on Friday, the public will get a chance to tour the center, in the former Lakeland Community Church.

The walkthrough will include a look at the art room, computer lab, library, fitness room and great room, which has a dance floor.

Also, instructors of planned dance and exercise classes will put on demonstrations.

The county’s current facilities — the Center at Charles Place and the Hearthstone Lodge Community Center — are in the central and northern areas of the county, respectively.

The southern Sexton Hall center is intended to provide ease of access for residents on that end of Forsyth.

“That’s going to allow us to interact easier with individuals from that area — where they don’t feel like they have to drive or we need to pick them up — to have activities in their own neighborhood,” Johnson said. “We want to encourage them to feel like this facility is there for them.”

Commission Chairman Brian Tam, who represents the southern district, matched that sentiment during a meeting earlier this week.

“That will be a great amenity to our county,” Tam said.

The building and surrounding 10 acres, he said, came at a great deal to the county, who rented it out to the church to continue using until the county was ready to open the center.

The purchase and renovation of the center was funded by the current 1-cent sales tax program.

Johnson said the county didn’t need to do any major structural modifications to the church, but largely redecorated and tiled the building, as well as repaved the parking lot.

Several amenities were left untouched, including a sand volleyball area and basketball courts outside.

“I’m just hoping the community will be as thrilled with the facility as I am,” Johnson said.