A message from Supervisor Boddye:
Yesterday, Occoquan District Parks and Recreation Commissioner Brodie Freer (who chairs the commission) and I had the opportunity to tour the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center with general manager Sara Smith. As a regional indoor recreation center, Chinn offers raquetball and other multi-use courts, cardio equipment, a weight room complete with a jungle gym, two 12-person hot tubs, two dry saunas, a 40-meter heated pool with eight 25-yard lanes, fitness classes, and more. Children’s programming includes preschool, before and after school care, and summer camps, along with special events.
Pre-pandemic, this popular community hub boasted a cost recovery rate of nearly 99%, brought in by fees and memberships. This is a rarity in municipal parks and rec facilities. Investments in Chinn haven’t always kept up with this level of use. During the tour, we discussed that the 31-year old facility has had some renovations over the years, but is in need of additional maintenance and improvements. The 2006 Bond Referendum included plans to expand and modernize the center, but those plans were abandoned during the Great Recession. While the County has incorporated building and facility maintenance into its Capital Improvement Program, proactively investing in repairs and upgrades that save tax dollars in the long term, funding is limited and parks and recreation competes with other agencies to access it.
I appreciated getting a behind-the-scenes look at Chinn, as well as a fuller picture of what it will take to continue delivering the level of service that the community has come to expect. A big thank you to Sara and her team for the tour, and for all they do for our residents!