Tag Archives: Oak Marr RECenter

Oak Marr RECenter Renovations Update

UPDATE: October 22, 2014

A ceremony marking the official reopening of Oak Marr RECenter was held Saturday, October 18, 2014. View photos from the event.

UPDATE: September 12, 2014

Thanks for attending the open house! Here are some photos from the event.

UPDATE: September 4, 2014

Open House Slated for Saturday, September 6, 2014

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The fitness expansion project is complete and the RECenter is open today! Come experience your new facility at an open house this Saturday (9/6) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. After a year of construction, we are excited to showcase the facility and what Oak Marr has to offer. General admission will be free all day!

Free activities for all ages include: petting zoo, trackless train, magic shows, balloon sculptures, face painting, Fairfax County Animal Shelter, popcorn, snow-cones, and more.

Open House Event Schedule:

  • Fitness Center 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. – Free In-Body Monitor Testing
  • Swimming – 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Child Care Tour – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Meet and Greet the Staff!
  • Mini Golf – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (2 for 1 pricing)
  • Diving – 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Free Class Demos – Zumba, Pilates, Cycle, Spin, Karate, Dance, Arts & Crafts, Yoga, and Tai Chi

The slideshow above highlights the:

  • Upper and lower fitness rooms with new equipment
  • Hardwood fitness studio for additional programming
  • Spin studio with a projector and pull-down screen
  • Child care room to encourage family fitness
  • New vibrant and welcoming lobby and sitting room

We hope to see you Saturday!

Watch this video to see what patrons are saying about the new facilities.

June 3, 2014

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Staff members are buzzing about the changes we’re seeing at Oak Marr RECenter. With each passing day the year-long project takes another step toward completion. We are excited to share the improvements with our customers who have been waiting patiently for the RECenter to reopen.

The building’s new glass façade now protrudes into the old parking lot, and customers are taking notice. Everyone seems to agree that the building looks great, and many people are curious about what amenities are being added. In case you haven’t heard, Oak Marr is undergoing more than your average building makeover; the RECenter is being transformed into one of the area’s most modern fitness facility.

The finished project will include:

  • A new, two-story, 5,500 square-foot fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
  • A dedicated stretching area in the fitness center
  • Three new multipurpose rooms for fitness classes and other activities
  • An expanded fitness center entry area with cubbies
  • A 700-square-foot babysitting area with a restroom
  • An updated lobby and administration area
  • A new entrance to improve facility access and security

But the question on everyone’s mind is, “When will it be finished?” The answer is: soon. A grand opening will be held this fall to mark the occasion, and everyone is invited to join in the celebration.

Manager Kirt Chase said, “For the past 12 months we have been watching our new expansion being built from the ground up, and now that we are getting close to completion we are excited to see the public’s reaction to our new state-of-the-art facility.”

Program Director Robert Arguinzoni is excited about the enhanced space for dance, gymnastics, and tot programs this fall. “It will allow us to introduce new levels of classes that kids and parents have been looking forward to since construction began last spring,” Arguinzoni said. He is also sure parents will love the new childcare room adding, “It will be a wonderful option for parents who are looking for time to work out and not have to worry about making other arrangements for child care.”

Aquatics Supervisor Nicole Marko said the physical changes have been surreal. “I have been at Oak Marr for so long – starting in 1999 as an adapted aquatics volunteer – having taught as a part-time swim instructor 2001-2005 and then full-time since February 2007.  I have seen its evolution in customers, program offerings and even paint colors.  It’s interesting to see the new integrated with the old. But we all look forward to replacing the constant sounds of banging and drilling with the sounds of treadmills and ellipticals!”

Fitness Director Jennifer Elgas is thrilled about the new fitness center and is happy to be part of the exciting changes. She said, “I am anxious for it to open and am most excited to see everyone’s reactions to it, as well as being able to serve more members with our variety of state-of-the-art equipment.”

Oak Marr has seen significant transformations since opening in 1988, but none as sweeping as the expansion of the fitness center. We look forward to presenting Oakton area residents with this top-tier fitness facility. In the meantime, stop by and see the changes for yourself. Then join us for the grand opening this fall!

We can’t wait to see you!

This post will be updated with new information and photographs as the project nears completion. Check back often to see what’s new!

Written by Alex Barnard, recreation specialist, Oak Marr RECenter

Oak Marr Panarama

Spotlight On George Thigpen: Park Employee And Artist

Thigpen recreated the famous Afghani Girl from the cover of 1985 National Geographic using small pieces of cut paper.

Thigpen re-created the famous Afghani Girl from the cover of 1985 National Geographic using small pieces of cut paper.

George Thigpen is a valued employee who has worked at the Oak Marr Recreation Center for eight years.  During the course of his work at Oak Marr, it was discovered that he has a very special talent.

This discovery began when Thigpen started creating portraits of Oak Marr employees and their spouses. And it was then that it became apparent he has a very unique style, and utilizes some very interesting artistic methods.  His style of art is called “portrait collage,” and he begins by producing a pencil drawing of a subject, usually from a photograph.  From that drawing, and beginning with the eyes, he then begins to build the subject’s face with cut pieces of acid free construction paper, which are attached with glue.  His inspiration came long ago from a junior high school art teacher in Costa Rica.  He is primarily self-taught.  Other strong influences for him have been Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits, and Charles Thomas Close, an American painter and photographer.  Thigpen has worked in this medium for approximately 20 years.

Among outstanding works is his most recent piece, called “Afghani Mother and Child”. His best known work is based on the famous National Geographic cover from 1985 entitled “Afghani Girl”.  Afghani Mother and Child is currently on display at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery located at Reston Community Center at Lake Anne Village Center, where he is a member of the League of Reston Artists, and has submitted his work into competitions. This most recent piece recently won “Best of Show.”  His work is also displayed in other locations, such as at a restaurant in Sterling, Va., and most of his completed works are for sale.  (And yes, he accepts commissions for portraits.)  His current work in progress is a portrait of his father, who is turning 90 years old this year! 

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Sadly for all who have come to know him, our local artist is planning to retire in approximately two years.  And for both his dedicated work at Oak Marr and his unique artistic talents, he will be sorely missed!     

Written by Ken Adams, Fairfax County Park Authority volunteer