District manager has ‘good news’ on Lifelong Learning College

The Village Center Community Development District is going to save the Village Lifelong Learning College, but it is going to take a little time.

An overflow crowd of Villagers crammed into the District Office on Wednesday afternoon, eager to learn if the Lifelong Learning College would be resurrected after it had been shut down Dec. 31.

“I think it’s a good news story,” said District Manager Janet Tutt.

It was not a decision taken lightly, she said.

A Villager holds up a hand-written "LLC" sign.

A Villager holds up a hand-written “LLC” sign.

District staff have pored over the VLLC’s books and have determined that it is fiduciarily feasible for the District to take on the operation.

Tutt said a major part of the decision hinged on whether the District could carry on with the expected level of quality.

“I believe we can,” she said.

She said the Lifelong Learning College would not be funded with amenity fees. Rather, the VCCDD would establish an Enterprise Fund that would charge fees of the users.

The bulk of the resurrection of the Lifelong Learning College will fall on the Recreation Department.

John Rohan, head of the Recreation Department, said his department “many years ago” had offered enrichment programs that were eventually taken over by the Lifelong Learning College. He said it was not uncharted water.

However, he said it would take time to evaluate everything from staffing to equipment needs.

Villagers watched a brief Power Point presentation on the future of the Lifelong Learning College.

Villagers watched a brief Power Point presentation on the future of the Lifelong Learning College.

Rohan predicted that registration for the next set of classes could take place in August and September. Classes could begin in October.

Some Villagers had questions about how the District could accommodate the Americans with Disabilities Act demands.

“The programs will be sponsored by the District and will be subject to ADA requirements,” Tutt said.

The Lifelong Learning College likely will physically continue in The Villages’ many recreation centers which were already home to some of the previous classes. However, Tutt indicated the District would inquire about use of space at the Charter School.

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Comments

  1. Roger Wright says

    I agree that we need to reform the civil justice system to force these lawyers to have some skin in the game. We also need to look at these class action suits where the law firm gets $50 million and you get a bag of peanuts

    • Steve Enderlin says

      And so what if the developers make a profit? Did you ever do anything with hopes of losing money? Didn’t think so. Their profits that made this place what it is are why the greater percentage of people in The Villages, probably including you, chose to spend the rest of their lives. .

    • Herb Hofmann says

      I hope he make a huge profit, to cover the time and expenses The Villages had to go through.
      If a interpreter is required in a class it should be a request at time of registration.

  2. Sherry Alexander says

    I hope it is not completely like it was before because when they NEEDED to use a Rec Center for a particular class, because they were making money off it, they would interrupt my permit for a weekly event that I hold. I never thought it was right that they could do it, but I was told the LLC took precedence. I hope that is NOT the case with this new setup because it sounds like they will be using more and more of our Recreation Centers.

    • Ann Eggleston says

      My guess would be that it depends on who brings in the most money to the District, Sherry. You or the LLC. I hope they don’t interrupt your events either but I would work on a “Plan B.”

  3. Jr Donald T Hood says

    I don’t care what people pay for the classes that THEY want as long as they are paying the full cost and the residents not taking classes are NOT paying for anything.

    If Rec Centers are going to be used it needs to be monitored so that they are the LAST priority of use and not 1st over residents requests.

    Maybe even charge for use to cover extra costs of cleaning and setup/teardown that staff will be providing.

    • Lou Maruzo says

      Doesn’t sound like they will. What should have happened is that THE PLAINTIFFS should have had to pay for the defense lawyers. When will this country ever learn that the way to stop these frivolous law suits is to impose “loser pays.”

      • Ann Eggleston says

        I agree, Lou. We are a far too litigious society. Anyone can file a lawsuit for nearly any small infraction and disrupt a person’s life, use valuable court time and waste resources of everyone involved. Then, when they lose they just walk away with an “At least I showed them” attitude leaving the defendant the winner but financially strapped just the same.

  4. Jim Kinley says

    It’s great the Recreation Dept. is going to host the LLC. Space may be a problem but hopefully that can be worked out. Obviously many different Recreation Centers will likely be used. The LLC won’t be the same but at least it will continue to exist.

  5. Sande Metzger says

    I read The Villages was considering building a rec. center in the spacious area behind the Rio Grande Family pool. Build it like a school with many smaller rooms and call it Life Long Learning Center instead of a rec center. There must be funding somewhere if a rec center was considered. Chula Vista is just a short distance away so is a rec. center REALLY necessary? Just a thought.

  6. Marilyn Hack says

    That’s great news. Isn’t it ashamed that a few people can “Upset the apple cart”. Thanks to The Villages something good will come out of this.

  7. Dennis Carroll says

    Did anyone see the 60 Minutes piece on the Disability Act where attorneys have agents who search for organizations that are not in compliance for what amounts to abuse of the system for the sole purpose of monetary compensation? Check it out at http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/10/07/60_minutes_reports_on. I believe that the action brought against the Lifelong Learning Center falls into this category and had nothing to do with protecting disabled people’s rights. I’d like to see the POA do some investigating on this possibility. . .

  8. DenDia Williams says

    This is just Step 1, which is definitely positive for all of us. Future steps will include all the details. Everyone needs to be patient and let their voices be heard about costs, etc.

  9. Terry Kennedy says

    This is fantastic news, as I would not expect anything less from the level of programming, facilities and accommodations that is the standard that those who serve no matter the department or service.

    Congrats to Janet, John and administrative staff that responded to this need.

    All the best – Terry

  10. Debbie Murphy says

    Was anything discussed about “PAYING” for these classes? They weren’t free at the LLLC. Must be cutting a large amount of the classes. Our recreation centers are pretty much at capacity as it is. How do they expect to put more classes into them? I was under the impression that the discussion today was cancelled per the POA. Any more info would be appreciated.

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