System News

Friday, March 8, 2019 - City of Charleston, Roper St. Francis Healthcare celebrate opening Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center

Elizabeth Bernat, Louis Waring, Jr Roberta Pinckney and Lorraine Lutton at Ribbon Cutting
Director of Senior Services Elizabeth Bernat, Louis Waring, Jr, RSFH Board Member Roberta Pinckney, and President and CEO Lorraine Lutton.

The City of Charleston and Roper St. Francis Healthcare held an official ribbon cutting and grand opening Tuesday at the new Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center on the campus of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.

Dozens of members of the community attended the event, which also featured Charleston Mayor John J. Tecklenburg, members of Charleston City Council, President and CEO of Roper St. Francis Healthcare Lorraine Lutton, Roper St. Francis Healthcare Director of Senior Services Elizabeth Bernat, Louis Waring, Jr., and the Waring family.

“With the Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is replicating the success we’ve had at the Lowcountry Senior Center in keeping older adults engaged and active,” said Roper St. Francis Healthcare President and CEO Lorraine Lutton. “It is our honor to join forces with the City of Charleston to ensure our residents can access this beautiful space to stay active, stay young, and stay connected.”

In December, 2015, Charleston City Council named the senior center in honor of Louis Waring, Jr., a United States Navy World War II veteran who also served as the Charleston City Council member for District Seven from 1994 to 2012.

Designed by Liollio Architecture and built by Howell and Howell Contractors, Inc., the approximately 16,000 square foot facility features a fitness center, café, resource center with access to computers, exercise studio and outdoor pickleball courts. The center provides adults who are 50 years of age or older the opportunity to exercise, socialize and engage through a variety of activities and events focused on active lifestyles, well-being and growth.

“The Louis Waring, Jr. Senior Center, named for one of our city’s finest public servants, will be a truly extraordinary resource for our city and its citizens,” Mayor Tecklenburg said. “I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this day possible, including and especially our fine partners at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, who will be providing the high quality events, classes and services our residents need and deserve.”

Around 25,000 seniors live in West Ashley without access to a senior center. More than 1,000 people are already on a waiting list to participate in activities at the new center.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare strives to serve patients AND the community closer to where they live and work. That’s why the healthcare system decided to expand Senior Center services in West Ashley. The Lowcountry Senior Center on James Island opened in May 2002 and it was immediately evident that a second facility was necessary to meet the demands of our aging population.

“We know that approximately 70 percent of all visits to the Lowcountry Senior Center are related to some form of exercise,” Lutton said. “Regular physical activity plays an important role in healthy aging, as does socialization. Here we will help resident maintain a healthy body and mind.”

The Waring Senior Center also allows Roper St. Francis Healthcare to extend into the community several important health initiatives such as preventing falls, offering diabetes education, managing chronic health conditions, and supporting family caregivers.

The Waring Senior Center is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Current class offerings for March include Enhance Fitness, a group exercise class for a range of fitness levels, line dancing, art, Tai Chi, yoga, knitting, book club, calligraphy, water colors, and more.

Membership is available to anyone 50 years of age or older and provides access to a wide range of programs including annual special events, travel opportunities, health and wellness educational programs and self-management classes.

Basic Membership is $70 per year for Charleston County residents ($80 for out-of-county residents). This membership does not include access to the fitness center and pickleball courts.

Gold Membership, which includes access to the fitness center and pickleball courts, is $125 per year for Charleston County residents ($135 for out-of-county residents).

More information about registration and memberships can be found online at or in person by visiting the center.

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