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A renewed hub for seniors: Dr. Armando Badia Senior Center to undergo major renovation and expansion

Commissioner Manolo Reyes spearheads project to revitalize vital community center

The Dr. Armando Badia Senior Center at Flagami Park is about to get a new lease on life. District 4 Commissioner Manolo Reyes, along with the Miami Department of Parks and Recreation and the Office of Capital Improvements (OCI), are celebrating the groundbreaking ceremony for a significant renovation and expansion project.

This initiative reflects a deep commitment to providing local seniors with a modern, well-equipped space to socialize, participate in activities, and maintain their well-being. Calle Ocho News had the honor to have an exclusive conversation with the commissioner about the senior hub. Continue reading this news to get more details.

Commissioner Reyes' personal connection fuels the project

"The Badia Senior Center is almost like a second home to me," shared Commissioner Reyes during the interview. "My mother used to attend programs there for years while she lived in Flagami. Even before I became a commissioner, I would visit often. I wasn't even a candidate then, but I saw the positive impact it had on the seniors who went there."

This personal connection underscores the importance the center holds for the Flagami community. The renovation project signifies a dedication to improving facilities relied upon by a significant portion of the local population, especially those who depend on the center for social interaction and activities. As Commissioner Reyes highlighted, the center has served "dozens of seniors" – a testament to its vital role in the community.

Aerial view of a new residential development with modern houses and green spaces

A look at the project details of the senior center

The upcoming transformation promises a revitalized center brimming with new possibilities. Here's a breakdown of the planned senior center enhancements as shared by the commissioner during the interview:

• Enhanced Social Spaces: A brand new multipurpose community room will provide a spacious and versatile venue for gatherings, events, and activities. Imagine movie nights, game nights, cultural events, lectures, and workshops – all fostering a vibrant social atmosphere for seniors.

• Upgraded Dining Facilities: Seniors can look forward to a modern dining hall, complete with a warming kitchen. This space will also feature an external covered area, creating a unique indoor/outdoor environment for special occasions and celebrations. Sharing meals is a cornerstone of social interaction, and this improved space will undoubtedly enhance the dining experience for seniors.

• Expanded Learning Opportunities: The existing classroom will receive a complete renovation, and two brand new classrooms will be constructed. This signifies a commitment to offering a wider range of educational programs – perhaps computer literacy classes, art workshops, or lectures on health and wellness topics.

• Tech Savvy Enhancements: A dedicated computer lab will equip seniors with the tools and resources to navigate the digital world. This can bridge the digital divide, allowing them to connect with family and friends online, access valuable information, and participate in online activities.

• Focus on Fitness: A brand new gym equipped with exercise equipment will offer seniors a space to stay active and healthy.

• Improved Accessibility: New restroom facilities will be constructed, ensuring they are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

• Modernized Infrastructure: The project encompasses a revamped reception area and office space, promoting efficient operations and a welcoming atmosphere.

Funding the future through a collaborative effort

This large-scale project benefits from a collaborative funding approach. The estimated cost of $10.19 million is financed through various sources, including:

• American Rescue Plan Act

• Florida Department of Elder Affairs

• Miami-Dade County

• Sanitary Sewer Bonds

• Impact Fees

• General Funds

This combined investment demonstrates a commitment from local, state, and federal entities to prioritize the well-being of Miami's senior population.

A celebration of community and renewal

The ground breaking ceremony for the Dr. Armando Badia Senior Center renovation and expansion was scheduled for Monday, April 15, 2024, at 11:00 AM at the center.

Expected dignitaries include Commissioner Manolo Reyes, Mayor Francis Suarez, Senator Ileana Garcia, County Commissioner Kevin Cabrera, Former County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Capital Improvements.

The ceremony signifies a new chapter for the Dr. Armando Badia Senior Center. This project promises to create a more vibrant, inclusive, and well-equipped space for Flagami's senior residents, fostering social connections, promoting well-being, and empowering them to live active and engaged lives.

A beacon of hope for local seniors

The sentiment of hope and anticipation surrounding the senior center renovation is palpable among those who frequent the center. The commissioner highlighted that the goal of the project is to connect senior adults to community services and offer them access to a wide range of opportunities that keep them active, independent, healthy, and safe.

This focus on well-being resonates with the center's visitors. The improved facilities will empower seniors to live a more fulfilling life and create a space where they can connect with others and avoid social isolation.

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