County leaders past and present gathered Thursday morning to cut the ribbon on one of the most hotly anticipated facilities in the county: the Ashburn Senior Center.
Much like the groundbreaking in 2019, said Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Service Director Steve Torpy, the ribbon cutting may have been the best attended ribbon cutting the department has ever seen, with more than 100 people in attendance.
“As you all know, the covered pandemic hit the senior population incredibly hard,” said County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large). “So for this to be one of our first ground breakings, past COVID, at the senior center, for this purpose, it means more than we could possibly say, and that you all are all here with us and healthy and doing well.”
“There are a lot of forces on our society today, more than I’ve ever seen, that are trying to pull us apart,” said Supervisor Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn). “… The way to counteract those voices is with installations exactly like this. The way you stop those kinds of grabbing all of our society as by getting out in your community and meeting each other, and spending time with each other, and enjoying each other’s company, and talking to each other and getting to know your neighbor.”
The county has had plans for an Ashburn senior center since 2009, but the project was unfunded and with no set construction schedule. In 2017, the project began to move when supervisors negotiated a proffer agreement with the developer Toll Brothers, the developer of the Regency at Ashburn, a 55+ neighborhood next to the community center.
At the groundbreaking ceremony in 2019, then-Supervisor Ron Meyer credited, among other people, longtime senior citizen advocate and former Commission on Aging Chairwoman Charlotte Nurge, who died in 2016. At the ceremony Thursday, Supervisor Sylvia R. Glass (D-Broad Run) credited Meyer, who was in attendance, for his work bringing the project to fruition. Meyer was key in not only getting the senior center project moving, but in making sure the all-important pickleball courts were included. Although named the Ashburn Senior Center, the facility falls in the Broad Run electoral district.
Turner also credited his predecessor on the board, Ralph Buona.
The 15,000-square-foot senior includes a small gymnasium, a large multipurpose room with pickleball courts, a commercial kitchen, fitness room, classrooms, a game room, a computer lab, an arts-and-crafts room, restrooms and storage areas. The exterior areas have been designed as extensions to the classroom areas.
For regular facility hours, memberships, features and activities, go to loudoun.gov/prcs or call 571-367-8340.