Source: NorthFulton.com

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Park Place in Johns Creek has birthday party
Active adult center in Johns Creek celebrates 2nd year

by Hatcher Hurd

August 21, 2013

Craig Gleason entertains the audience with songs ranging from Judy Garland standards to Bob Dylan favorites.Hatcher Hurd.
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. A little rain did little to dampen spirits Aug. 17 of the more than 100 folks at the second anniversary party at Park Place.

Live music, hotdogs and hamburgers and good company made for a lively Saturday night. Park Place is the city's active adult center at Newtown Park in Johns Creek. It offers activities that are open to all county residents, but Johns Creek citizens get first priority.

Park Place is the renovated Newtown Schoolhouse that had been preserved by Fulton County but was outside Newtown Park.

"It had barbed wire around it and the windows were all boarded up," said City Councilman Ivan Figueroa. "So we decided it would make a great place for the seniors to meet and do things."

Using federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the city renovated the school with a commercial kitchen, meeting rooms and classroom space for around $678,000. Now it is home to lots of activities from Zumba classes to day trips, said Kirk Franz, Johns Creek recreation manager.

"We must have 100 people come in every day for any number of programs. It might be fitness, social activities or just stop in for coffee and use the computers to check email," Franz said.

Social activities are the most popular, with bridge, bingo, knitting and crocheting among them. The walking club, the evening dinner club and potluck lunches are also there for people to enjoy.

But fitness programs such as yoga, tai chi and Zumba and Pilates also have their regulars. The new Silver Sneaker Flex fitness program has been a hit, said Franz. Monday morning bocce ball brings out the competitive spirit in players. Others may find the occasional movie matinee to their liking.

Art workshops with Amanda Jones may help visitors uncover their inner Picasso. Lunch and Learn Thursdays take up new topics all the time, and the Sept. 19 class includes a tour of Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center.

A fantasy football league will have its player draft noon Friday, Aug. 23, with lunch provided. Residents should RSVP at ParkPlace@JohnsCreekGA.gov.

To help seniors better communicate with their grandchildren, Park Place offers iPad Basics computer classes where they can enter the wonderful world of apps and unlock the secrets of the Internet.

"It was cool that Park Place also hosted the 2013 Fulton County Golden Games this spring," Franz said. "It helped get the word out we are here. Every day, someone comes in who didn't know the place was here. "

There is no membership fee, although some instructional classes have fees associated with them. Residents are asked to register and sign a release form.

For more information, go to ParkPlace@JohnsCreekGA.gov.