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County Opens Two New Senior Centers

It was an exciting week for the Department of Aging as Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith officially opened the Arbutus Senior Center and the Jacksonville Senior Center in late 2010. This brings the number of senior centers serving county residents to 20.

Arbutus Senior Center

The Arbutus Senior Center is part of a complex on Sulphur Spring Road consisting of two buildings - one housing the senior center and the expanded Arbutus branch of the Baltimore County Public Library, and the other providing space for a Recreation and Parks gymnasium and activity area.

"The addition of these new facilities is an outstanding asset to Arbutus that will undoubtedly improve the quality of life for everyone who lives here," said the County Executive. "By having a new expanded library, senior center, and recreation and parks center so close together, this complex will bring everyone from Arbutus together in a single place. This location will be an important resource for the people of Arbutus for years to come."

At the ceremony, the County Executive recognized George and Naamah Kendrick for their many years of volunteer service in the Arbutus community. Smith unveiled a plaque naming the rec center's gym as the George and Naamah Gymnasium. It will  hang over the door to the new gym.


Special features for the complex include:


  • 25,000 square feet (an increase of 9,200 square feet)
  • 28 public personal computers
  • Drive-up window
  • 120,000 items in collections 
  • Increase in size of teen and children's areas

Senior Center

  • 8,000 square feet LEED certified building
  • Fitness center
  • Multipurpose room with a kitchen, a game room, two craft rooms, two classrooms, and staff offices

Recreation Center

  • 9,000 square feet
  • Gymnasium
  • Activity and meeting rooms, offices and storage

Cost of the complex's design and construction is $10,967,521. The total size of both structures is 42,000 square feet on 9.89 acres.

Department of Aging director, Joanne Williams said the Arbutus Senior Center promises to be very successful, with over 200 members joining in the first week alone. “We are so pleased with the excitement that the community has generated for our newest center,” she said.

Activities begin in early September with a series of programs and special lunches including an Open House on September 21 complete with yoga demonstrations, a jewelry making class and a performance by the Baltimore County Senior Jazz Band.

There has also been significant interest in the fitness center which includes cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. A fitness director will be available on Thursdays to provide individual assessments and exercise plans.

To learn more about the Arbutus Senior Center, call 410-887-1410.

Jacksonville Senior Center

The grand opening of the new Jacksonville Senior Center, located at Sweet Air Park, was much-awaited by the more than 700 members who had previously participated in a one-room facility on Papermill Road. The new facility has a multi-purpose room with kitchen, fitness center, craft room, game room, classroom and offices for the center council and staff.

Donna Minkiewicz, President of the Jacksonville Senior Center, said she was delighted with the turnout at their grand opening. “We had over 300 people tour the facility and snack on refreshments provided by McDonald’s, ShopRite and the Greater Jacksonville Community Association. It was a terrific day!”

The council is especially proud of their new fitness center. They raised more than $25,000 from donations, raffles and special events to fund the purchase of eight pieces of fitness equipment. A fitness director will be on-site every Friday to provide assessments and individualized exercise plans for the fitness members. In the first week the new center was open, 175 new members joined the center.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony with the Departments of Aging and Recreation and Parks, County Executive Jim Smith expressed delight at the terrific community support for this new complex and said he looked forward to seeing a range of programs for all ages coming together at Sweet Air Park.

The recreation and senior center share a combined 14,400 square feet building that is located in the new 31 acre Sweet Air Park. The cost of the center and park is $4.45 million. The state’s portion of the cost is $1.2 million from State Program Open Space funds.


Features of the center and park include:

Recreation Center

  • 9,000 square feet 
  • Multipurpose gymnasium
  • Activity and meeting room

Senior Center

  • 5,400 square feet LEED certified facility 
  • Fitness center with state-of-the-art cardio equipment
  • Game room with computers
  • Multipurpose room with full kitchen, arts and crafts room with a kiln for ceramics and a classroom for programs and lectures

Sweet Air Park

  • 31 acres – half of property remains in its natural and predominately wooded state
  • Two athletic fields
  • Paved pathways
  • Picnic pavilions
  • Playground

“Since the Jacksonville Recreation and Senior Center is located in Sweet Air Park, outdoor recreational opportunities – including the park’s paved pathways – are now available for residents of any age to use and enjoy,” said Smith.

For more information regarding the Jacksonville Senior Center, call 410-887-1841.

Revised June 13, 2012

Revised April 6, 2016         


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