State-of-the Art Multicultural Center Opens Its Doors in Pine Hills
Orange County recently celebrated the grand opening of a cutting-edge Multicultural Center in Pine Hills. The 17,000 square foot facility, located at the site of a former grocery store, has been in the works since 2016. The building is the first of three phases and will be joined by a Senior Center and Center for Innovation and Design by 2026.
“Many people worked together as a collaborative team to make this possible for all of us,” said Venerria Thomas, director, Orange County Community and Family Services. “This will contribute to the future wellbeing of Pine Hills, and all of Orange County, in new and exciting ways.”
The first-of-its-kind Center will serve as a hub for the arts, culture, and innovation, which syncs with Pine Hill’s motto – Many Cultures, One Bright Future! It will also provide job training, senior and youth programming, utility assistance and a wealth of educational experiences. The massive facility includes a lobby, art exhibition, café, ballroom, classrooms, computer labs, meetings and event space, and offices.
“As a lifelong resident of Orange County and former resident of Pine Hills, this signifies a wonderful renaissance that’s happening right before our very eyes,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “This facility will serve as the crown jewel of community centers, and one that will bring the young and older generations together.”
The Multicultural Center is one of eight community centers spread throughout all six districts of the County to meet the unique challenges of each community. The goal of these centers is to change lives and brighten futures. The Center’s grand opening represented the culmination of efforts that started when Pine Hills residents expressed a need for a place where they felt welcome to former Orange County District 6 Commissioner Victoria Siplin.
“Multicultural means many cultures but also many generations,” said Mike Scott, Orange County District 6 Commissioner. “Today represents a history moment, as this facility will serve as a catalyst for our young people to showcase their talents in the arts and many other areas. It’s for future innovators, inventors and leaders as they bring their visions to Orange County.”
Lorna Smith, president of Pine Hills Seniors, Inc., asserted that Pine Hills residents must embrace this new chapter in their community’s history with enthusiasm and hope. “Together, we can build a bright future where many cultures come together as one,” she said. “Let’s make this center a beacon of unity in our community.”
Mayor Demings shared those sentiments: “This expansive footprint is just the beginning. We want our young people to be immersed in a new experience, part of the cutting-edge of what technology will bring to all of us.”
For more on Pine Hills, go to Pine Hills Neighborhood Improvement District.