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New Center, New Director

Claude Moore Gets New Rec Center

Sky Dantinne is committed to his community. For over nine years, Dantinne was in charge of the Sterling Community Center where he created programs and activities for Sterling Park residents. Now, he is busy preparing for the grand opening of the Claude Moore Recreation Center, the first of its kind in Loudoun County.

"I wanted the experience of opening a new, state-of-the-art [recreation] center," he said, "and I want to make sure it’s community oriented."

Unlike the Sterling Community Center, which is geared toward its neighborhood, Claude Moore’s facility, located off of Cascade Parkway, will be open to the entire county.

"My hope is the entire community will take advantage of the new center," he said.

Carrie Randolph, Dantinne's former co-worker at Sterling Community Center, said the director will be an asset to the new facility.

"It's a big place, but community's important to him," she said.

Even though the recreation center is open to the entire community, Randolph said he will make it feel like home.

LOUDOUN COUNTY residents approved a bond issue in November 2001 to construct a recreation center on the Claude Moore Park grounds.

Claude Moore Park is a public park and is home to nature trails, a visitors’ center and the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum.

In June 2003, a contract was awarded to Wisnewski, Blair and Associates, to design the recreation center and a construction contract was awarded to them in December 2004.

Parks and Recreation broke ground Jan. 29, 2005, and one month later, the firm began constructing the new facility. Now, Claude Moore Park is home to a community recreation center, complete with tracks, courts and game rooms. There’s still no scheduled grand opening, but Dantinne said it will be up and running soon.

The center includes a 50-meter competition pool, the largest indoor pool in the county, and diving boards, Dantinne said. It also includes a fitness center complete with treadmills, Nautilus machines and an aerobics studio.

When residents enter the facility, they will be greeted with a rock climbing wall with two paths, a novice path and an intermediate one. There is also an elevated indoor track that wraps around the front of the building, overlooking the fitness center and pool area and spacious locker rooms and showers.

Families can easily spend the day at the recreation center. Children can enjoy the leisure pool, 150-foot water slide and spray features, Dantinne said. Next to the leisure pool, there is a hot tub spa that can be used for therapeutic purposes.

KELLY TAYLOR, the county’s former camps coordinator and new director of the Sterling Community Center, said the Claude Moore Recreation Center would have made her job a lot easier. Taylor said she always had a hard time finding places for county children to go, especially on rainy summer afternoons.

As of now, Parks and Recreation summer campers utilize Ida Lee Park’s pool, as well as local hotel pools. But she said she always had a hard time finding empty pools.

"Now, they’ll have summer to go," she said, "and it’s awesome."

Taylor’s favorite feature is the 150-foot slide.

"And it’s nice that the competition pool and leisure pool are completely separate," she said. "Nobody’s bothering anybody. There’s lots of room."

In addition to two pools, Loudoun campers will be able to play on a 10,000-square-foot gymnasium, which can be divided into separate courts.

THE CLAUDE MOORE Recreation Center not only offers quality facilities, but first-rate programs as well.

The center’s director plans to open a "drop-in child-care" program, for children 6 months old to 10 years old.

Parents can utilize the facility for up to two hours, Dantinne said. At least one parent or guardian must be present at Claude Moore Recreation Center to use the service.

Space is limited, so child care is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There are also a number of multi-purpose rooms, for club meetings, and a teen club space.

"This is a multi-faceted, amazing facility," Dantinne said. "I can’t wait for the community to see it for themselves."