Colley Complex has much to offer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2003

Whether you want a place to relax, mingle or catch up on the latest news, the Colley Senior Complex has classes that can offer all three.

"It's such a wonderful outlet," Mary Page said of her painting class. "It gives people a place to come and fellowship with other people."

Page has been painting for 20 years and has taught a painting class at the Complex for three years.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

She said she enjoys teaching and that the members in her class are like family to one another.

Jenny Jinright, who was at Page's Wednesday class, said she gets more than a lesson in art.

"It is wonderful for the mind," she said. "It really relaxes your mind."

And learning to paint isn't as hard as one might think.

"You don't have to know how to draw to know how to paint," Page said.

And that's the way it is with most classes at the Colley Complex. As long as you're over 65, there is something for everyone no matter the level of expertise.

"We cover the gamut of anything the seniors want to do," said Jane Hamrick, who oversees the activities. "We ask the seniors what they would like and then try to meet their needs and demands."

The Complex offers all levels of exercise classes, yoga, painting, ceramics, pottery, quilting, smocking, dancing and even computer classes.

Hamrick likes to tell the story of one woman who thought the Complex had nothing to offer her.

"Now she says she wakes up in the morning thinking, what can I do at the Complex today?" Hamrick said.

The Complex is also home to a Barbershop Quartet and the Sweet Adelines.

Hamrick said the senior center keeps people active and involved and plays a major role in the community, servicing 1,600 people per month.

"Weekly we have couples who are relocating or retiring back to Troy and they want to know what we can offer them," she said. "We even have young couples who are moving their parents here and want to know what we can do to amuse them."

Besides being a place of instruction, the Complex is also a place of gathering.

The Complex and the buildings across from it on Elm Street used to belong to the Baptist Children's Home and Hamrick said they will hold a reunion Saturday afternoon.

Seniors can also go to the Complex to meet in their clubs and social groups, watch a video in the video room, use the computers in the lab, read in the library or play bridge with a couple of old friends. And every Saturday at 7 p.m., there is a dance.

The Complex also has a Coffee Shop and a chapel; and a consignment store behind the front desk sells what seniors have created in their classes.

The Complex also sponsors several trips throughout the year. Coming up on July 24 is a trip to the Mobile Museum of Art for "The Quilts of Gee's Bend." The exhibit is of Depression era quilts made near Camden.

In September, a group will travel to Atlanta to see the musical "Les Miserables."

What is the price of all this? How about a smile and thank you.

"We may charge nominal fees for consumable materials used in our classes and for the trips, but we keep it as inexpensive as we can."