The new Lovettsville Community Center is officially open.
Local officials past and present gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning. The basketball court, fitness rooms and community rooms are now open to the public. Construction will continue on the parking lot and the old community center will be torn down over the next few months.
Nancy Orndorff was the first manager of the Lovettsville Community Center when it opened in 1974. She, along with former assistant manager Diane Moore, stopped by to check out the new building. She said the new building is “really nice,” as she reminisced on the days when she and Diane ran the place.
She said the pool was built under her watch after four or five ladies approached her about getting one. She said they took off on a fund-raising drive that ended with the pool being built.
The community center has been a huge part of the town since it was built, from preschool classes, aerobics classes, childcare and cooking and just about any other class, Orndorff said.
Moore, who was the assistant manager from 1979 until 2006, said Sunday night volleyball was a huge deal in those days.
“Half the town of Lovettsville would be here on Sunday evening,” she said.
The new community center replaces the existing building. It is over 18,500 square feet and has a full court gymnasium, a fitness room, a dedicated senior’s area, five classrooms, a kitchen, restrooms and meeting spaces. The project also included a 600-square-foot addition and renovation to the existing 1,200-square-foot pool house.
Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Stephen Torpy said the Lovettsville community center has been a cornerstone in the area for decades and said now with the new building it will continue to be and “a focal point for years to come and a continual gathering place of learning and play.”
The new community center has been a long time coming, said county Supervisor Caleb E. Kershner (R-Catoctin). A bond referendum passed in 2007, but due to economic downturns it didn’t get into the county’s Capital Improvement Program until 2014. Over the next several years and a few hiccups, including changing contractors part way through the project, the center is finally complete. Kershner also credited his predecessor, former Catoctin District supervisor Geary Higgins, who was in attendance.
“We call it a community enter, and one of the things that is really important to me is, we don’t at the county level necessarily create community,” Kershner said. “Community is the people who are here. You are the ones who create community. What we can do is create facilities like this to enhance and to improve and to really make community what it is, to bring families together, to create programing for young folks, seniors and other things that occur at the community center.”
“I am so pleased that one of the things that is going to happen with this facility is it’s an [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant building. So, no matter what your abilities are you can use this facility and that hasn’t been said yet and I think that is vitally important,” said Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large).
Lovettsville Mayor Nate Fontaine, whose two children attended preschool at the old community center, said they were very excited to have it open and thanked all who have helped make it happen.
“Projects like this can’t happen without being built upon the backs of giants. Gary Higgins, Elaine Walker, Bobby Zoldos, board members before this, Chair Randall and others. It takes a lot of effort to get this done and it’s been a long-time project, there’s been some bumps in the road. But we are very excited to the community center open,” Fontaine said.
Members of the Lovettsville Town Council presented a resolution marking the completion of the new center to Torpy.
Lovettsville residents can come check out and use facilities like the gym and fitness center for free through Saturday, said community center manager Darby Charles. After Saturday fees will begin.