Under the glow of a sunny December day, even warm for Florida standards, several dignitaries including Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, Orange County Commissioners’ Victoria L. Siplin and Christine Moore a ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the Orange County Multi-Cultural Center in Pine Hills, on Monday, November 28, 2022. While the building is not 100% complete, the county hopes to have the center open by next spring.
The project is years in the making according to Commissioner Siplin. The project build-out was delayed by the COVIF-19 pandemic, and then the labor shortage and product delays pushed work back even further.
“It is just a tremendous, not only financial investment, economic investment, but it’s also investing in the spirit of Pine Hills,” Siplin said.
Neighbors in Pine Hills have been pushing for a multicultural center for years. The facility will serve as a hub for resources, learning, and events as a gathering space dedicated to diversity.
One of the facility’s highlights and on display is artist Katy Antill’s, The Spirit of Pine Hills. Antill’s amazing larger than life mosaic artwork is featured in the entryway and will welcome all into the Center for years to come. The Spirit of Pine Hills is a 180 square foot mosaic triptych with three panels each measuring 5’ x 12’. “Inspired by the people and families that make up the Pine Hills Community, my design celebrates the many cultures within the community as well as honors the past,” says Antill.
The project focuses on the renovation of a fan existing building into a new community center for Orange County’s District 6. This project transforms 17,688 sf of an existing shell previously used as a grocery store into a community center. It consists of an art exhibition gallery, classrooms, computer lab, conference rooms, a multipurpose room, a warming kitchen, offices, a flex area and support spaces. The North and West facades of the existing building will be modified to represent the new use.