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Summerfield renovations to be completed soon

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image Work continues at the Summerfield Clubhouse. Photo Penny Fletcher.

Originally slated to be completed in November, some code issues held it up and now the clubhouse is expected to be open in mid-January.

Residents of the 7,000-person Summerfield community have to wait an extra two months past the expected completion date for their newly remodeled clubhouse and weight and cardio rooms but they’re told it will be worth the wait.

When the project began in August, it was expected that residents would be lifting weights and using new cardio equipment and a newly-installed wi-fi room by November, but now it looks like mid January, said Abi James.

“We had a couple of inspections where we were told certain things had to be brought up to code,” James explained. “But we’re still moving right along and residents dues will not go up.”

James has been acting as interim community manager since spring and due to her excellent work, will take the position of Community Manager Jan. 1, said Summerfield’s President of the Board of Directors, Bob Abruzzese. “We are proud of the job she’s doing,” Abruzzese said in an interview Dec. 24.

Abruzzese said even though some code factors had to be addressed, dues would not be raised for 2014 because since the community was first started in the mid-1980s, money has been set aside annually into Capital Improvement and Reserve Funds.

“We have the money to complete each project before we start,” he said.

Loans are just not part of their thinking.

Every year, more of the 7,000 residents who live in the 3,500 homes in the Summerfield community use the weight and cardio rooms, James said. They were getting crowded.

Much space that was used for offices and meeting now belongs to the weight and cardio rooms. In fact, more than half the community center (not counting the full-size gymnasium) will be used for fitness.

This renovation won’t include anything on the outside of the clubhouse, which was repainted and re-landscaped about five years ago.

The approximately $200,000 project included breaking down walls between small rooms to make for large areas and new exercise equipment was ordered.

The equipment has arrived, and now sits in boxes in the gym, which is also being used as a make-shift office by staff members who have desks and files in a small area just inside the gym’s entrance.

“We’re really excited to have the wi-fi room going in,” James said. She said she expects that will be one of the most used parts of the facilities.

As for the weight and cardio rooms, if people who are able to come during the day will do so, instead of coming at peak hours for people who work during the day ­— like in the early morning and after five p.m. — it would not have been crowded, James explained. “We have regulars in the morning, and in the evening. But we see many come in right before and after work.”

Besides completely redoing the exercise rooms, the restrooms have been thoroughly remodeled and are awaiting the installation of new fixtures. New tile flooring in the entranceway and halls has also been installed.

Two extra treadmills, another stationary bike, some elliptical machines and new (open) storage racks for various size weights have already arrived.

Long-range plans call for adding a new wing and doing some renovations outside, but they are five or six years away.

“Those things will be done in the same way,” Abruzzese explained. “Only when the money is there.”

The complex also has tennis courts, a basketball court, two swimming pools, and both a fenced and un-fenced playground.

The main community complex is located in the center of the community, on the north side of Summerfield Boulevard, which crosses Big Bend Road at the only traffic signal east of U.S. Hwy. 301 prior to coming to Balm-Riverview Road. 

There is also a public golf course in the community at 13050 Summerfield Blvd., just southeast of the clubhouse.

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