The new $2.7-million Wakefield Recreation Center and park complex in Annandale was formally dedicated last week.
The building houses a 50-meter indoor swimming pool with seating for 800, saunas, a multi-purpose gymnasium, four handball and two squash courts, an equipped exercise and weight room, a dance room with mirrors and ballet bar, a craft room with poter's wheels and darkroom, a game room with table tennis, pool and air hockey, two club rooms, a nursery, a catering kitchen, two club rooms, a nursery, a catering kitchen and a sports equipment rental and sales office.
Outside, on 290 acres of wooded parkland surrounding the new building, there are six tennis courts, four baseball diamonds, two football and courts, three multi-use courts, chess and checkers tarefreshment stand that will open for major events and ample parking for cars and bicyles. The glass doors on one side of the swimming pool open in summer onto a fenced grass area.
The park complex began to take shape in 1966 with the acquisition of the land, just west of 1-495, at 8100 Braddock Rd.Funding for the building, designed by Taylor Garvin Associates, was provided by a bond referendum in 1971. General contractor M.L. Whitlow, Inc. began construction of the center in April 1975 and the doors opened two years later on April 16.
Speaking at the dedication, John Herrity, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, praised the park authority and the county for creating a center for "children of all ages.
"It takes an estimated $1,000 a day to operate the center. But the center took in $11,000 last week," he said.
The revenues are the result of small daily user fees, court rental fees, group rental fees for club rooms and other facilities and contractual arrangements with local high school, university and private swim clubs who plan to use the swimming pool for competitive meets.
Herrity said the park authority has asked approval of a $39-million bond referendum June 14. Included in the referendum request are tentative plans for two additional recreation centers in other parts of the county.
Annandale Supervisor Audrey Moore and park authority member Lyle C. McLaren welcomed quests and spoke briefly at the ceremonies. Referring to the bond vote, Moore said. "Fairfax County has the fastest growth rate in the Washington metropolitan area. It we don't get open space and park land now, we have lost it."
Carl Sell, formely a park authority employee, presented a plaque in memory of Joseph E. Davis, an Annandale athlete and football star who was lost in action over North Vietnam in 1968. The plaque will be placed at the entrance to the gymnasium. On June 4, another plaque in honor of Olympic gold medal winner Melissa Belote of Springfield will be placed in the pool area.
The building opens at 5 a.m. weekdays for tennis, handball and squash and is open until 11 p.m. Strain said reservations for courts may be made as early as a week in advance.
Fees for the tennis courts are $2 an hour for singles, $3 for an hour and a half of doubles. The squash and handball courts are $4.50 an hour for use of the courts, showers and saunas.
The daily user fee is $1.50 for adults and $1 per child and includes use of the swimming pool, exercise room, gym and dance room.
Public pool hours have been tentatively set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
A nursery for young children is available for 50 cents an hour.
Strain said he hopes to have public swim, dance, exercise and craft lessons organized soon.
Groups or individuals wishing to use the facilities or reserve club rooms, gym or pool are asked to call 321-9068 for further information.