Dunwoody Village in Newtown Square has been a premier continuing care retirement community for almost 50 years, but it continues to look for ways to enrich residents’ daily lives, as evidenced by a new community center, writes Matt Cosentino for Suburban Life Magazine.
The $24 million renovation of the community center reimagines an older space as it expands amenities and activities available.
There was a ribbon-cutting for the new community center in April.
Phase one doubles the size of the building and adds 15,000 square feet to each of the center’s two levels.
“The footprint that was here was from when it was originally built in the 1970s,” says Monica Knauss, Dunwoody’s community relations coordinator. “Subsequently, we’ve added more residential homes, but we had never increased the size of the community center. We now have a size that suits our population, along with the fresh look that we needed. It’s been so exciting over the past two months to see the residents utilizing these new spaces.”
One of the most appreciated new spaces is a new 200-seat auditorium, which allows movie screenings, guest speakers, musical acts and other performances. Much of the programming comes from the residents, Knausss said.
For the grand opening, there was a 19-piiece band playing band-era music, with a dance floor rented for the evening.
“Recently, a group of about a dozen residents performed several one-act plays,” Knauss added, and they’ve even livestreamed programs from the Berlin Philharmonic or The Met.
The residents played a role in the design of the center, with input on everything from color schemes to the flooring, to the style of chairs.
The new building also houses a bistro for casual fare, a formal dining room with wait service and a private room for residents having a family gathering.
A lounge with a pub-style menu and a grab-and-go section with pre-packaged items will be available once the second phase of the expansion is completed.
The upgraded community center also includes a new fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment and daily classes; a library with more than 7,000 books and a digital catalog, a unisex salon for hair styling, cuts and manicures and a larger arts-and-crafts studio.
The studio offers painting and other art classes. Groups meet for several types of stitching. There is a kiln for pottery and a woodshop.
The second phase of the project will include a renovated lobby, an updated game room with billiards tables and additional meeting space.
“Dunwoody is known for its health care, and ultimately that’s why people choose our community, for the continuum of care that we provide,” Knauss says. “But we encourage people to come sooner rather than later, to enjoy all the amenities that we have. Providing a lifestyle of wellness helps to improve their health and keep them active and enjoying life.”
Read more at Suburban Life Magazine about Dunwoody Village’s new community center.