Two of the county’s recreation centers will soon have a new look and more space for fitness classes and equipment.
The Spring Hill RECenter and Oak Marr RECenter will be under construction over the next year or so as they receive two-story additions. Both centers opened in 1988.
When the facilities were built, they were mostly centered around the indoor pools, said Dave Bowden, director of the Planning and Development Division of the Fairfax County Park Authority.
“We were way under-sized for fitness use,” he said.
Oak Marr had 265,703 visitors in fiscal 2013 and Spring Hill had 169,365.
There is a growing demand for fitness programs in the county, particularly group exercise classes, Bowden said.
At Oak Marr, the Park Authority is constructing a two-story addition that will encompass a 5,500-square-foot fitness center with updated equipment, a new fitness center lobby area with storage cubbies, three new multipurpose rooms for group exercise programs and a new babysitting area.
The $5.7 million project also includes updates to the main lobby and administration area and relocation of the building entrance. That work began in May, and patrons will begin using the new entrance in October, Bowden said.
Work on a $10.7 million addition at Spring Hill is slated to begin this fall.
That facility will also receive an addition with a two-story fitness center. The existing fitness center will be converted to multipurpose rooms for group exercise classes, as well as a room for spin classes.
The addition at Spring Hill also includes a gymnasium with an elevated running track, the first such facility in the county, and new office space for employees.
Locker rooms at Spring Hill will also get a makeover, including new showers and the installation of five spaces for families to change.
“These will be two state-of-the art fitness centers probably unmatched in the area,” Bowden said. “I think people are really going to appreciate the changes when they get a chance to use the new facilities.”
After a similar renovation was completed at the South Run RECenter, “it basically doubled the use of the rec center,” Bowden said.
Oak Marr’s renovations are slated to be complete in July 2014.
The new gym and fitness center at Spring Hill is expected to be complete in December 2014 with the full renovation completed by February 2015.
While the rec centers will remain open for the duration of the construction — except for in September when the centers typically close each year for annual maintenance — there will be some disruption of fitness activities.
At Oak Marr, the Park Authority allowed people who had purchased fitness passes for Oak Marr to trade them in for a pass that can be used at other rec centers or to get a refund. Almost all accepted the substitute pass, according to Park Authority spokesman Matthew Kaiser.