On Sept. 5, Loudoun County leaders broke ground on a new senior center for residents aged 55 and older in Ashburn, with sights set on opening in spring of 2021.
The project’s development and estimated $10.7 million price tag were the result of Loudoun County’s Adopted Capital Needs Assessment for 2021 to 2030, according to Karen Sheets, the deputy director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services in Loudoun County.
The assessment determined another senior center was needed to meet a quota of one senior center per 10,000 senior residents in the sub-area, which will make a total of five operating senior centers in the county as of 2021. Other senior centers include Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades in Sterling, Carver Center in Purcellville, The Senior Center of Leesburg and Dulles South Senior Center in South Riding.
After the county gave residents the opportunity to share their input on the upcoming project, local leaders and project coordinators decided that the space would be fairly similar to other senior centers in the area.
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Amenities will include a small gymnasium, large multi-purpose room, commercial kitchen, fitness room, classrooms, game room, computer lab and an arts-and-crafts room in the 15,000-square-foot-facility.
“In addition to these amenities, the Ashburn Senior Center will feature two full-size pickleball courts, a unique feature that was based on public input from seniors in the local community,” says Sheets.
Activities like pickleball can keep local seniors engaged in healthy behaviors and returning to the senior center over time, but it’s important to note that the recreational, educational and socialization opportunities aren’t the only benefit.
“Each senior center offers a lunchtime meal during the week. Lunch is $4 for those under the age of 60 and free (or by donation) for members 60 and older,” says Sheets. “Also, senior centers also serve as distribution points for the county’s Home Delivered Meals Program, where volunteers collect prepared meals and deliver them to home-bound elderly in the local community on weekdays.”
As a proud supporter of Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services’s mission—to provide outstanding recreational and leisure opportunities, outcome-focused community services and stewardship of the natural resources to promote quality of life for Loudoun’s residents and visitors—Sheets is optimistic about the access seniors will now have to recreational activities, a nutritious meal and socialization in the community.
“Research has found that social engagement opportunities are critical factors in the longevity and quality of life for older adults,” says Sheets. “We look forward to serving Ashburn seniors in their leisure pursuits, helping them keep active and providing a familiar place to recreate with others their age.”
The new center will be located on Marblehead Drive, and operated by the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services. Construction is expected to take 18 months, and community members can stay up-to-date through the county’s website.