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Home improvement

Maryland community undergoes multimillion-dollar makeover to bring new look, new amenities

Created date

April 3rd, 2017
The lounge at the renovated Oak Crest Town House clubhouse.

The lounge at the renovated Oak Crest Town House clubhouse.

When Oak Crest opened its doors in 1995, it was one of the most innovative, beautifully designed retirement communities in Maryland. Now, 22  years later, the Parkville community is undergoing a $30 million renovation to modernize the campus and meet the needs of the active people who live there as well as the next generation of retirees. 

Renovations are taking place in Town Center, one of three clubhouses located on the 87-acre campus. Updates to the 57,000-square-foot clubhouse include an expanded fitness center; a new 25-meter indoor heated swimming pool; two new dining venues; a new hair salon; a library and classroom; as well as redesigned outdoor areas, including dual bocce courts and an outdoor seating area with a fountain.

Change for the better

“The goal is to modernize the look and feel of Town Center in order to stay fresh and current with today’s trends,” says Bo Lundh, associate executive director at Oak Crest.  “As styles change, we change to stay up to date with an appearance that our residents and future residents expect to see.”

Construction on the clubhouse will be carried out in two sequential phases over the course of two years and includes equipping the entire Oak Crest campus with Wi-Fi. The first phase, which features the new pool and fitness center, is scheduled to be completed this fall. 

The fitness center is one of Oak Crest’s most popular amenities. In 2016, community members made more than 32,500 visits to the fitness center and completed nearly 3,100 personal training appointments.  

“I’m excited about our new personal training studio and the expansion of the pool and group exercise room,” says Temica Hopson, fitness manager at Oak Crest. “The studio will allow us to provide more personalized attention during training sessions. The larger pool means more residents can participate in our fantastic aquatics program to reap the benefits of warm-water exercise.”

“Last but not least, more group exercise space will increase our ability to hold new classes like TRX and Zumba. Residents will enjoy spacious, spa-like locker rooms and a cardiovascular training area with over 25 new pieces of equipment.”

During construction, the fitness center has been temporarily relocated within the Town Center Clubhouse for community members to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jo Anne and Michael Doddo took advantage of the health and wellness amenities when they moved to Oak Crest in February from Langhorne, Pa., to be closer to their family.

Michael, a retired school administrator, hits the fitness center up to four days a week, using the NuStep, free weights, and leg exercise machines.  

“We belonged to a gym in Langhorne, so staying fit has always been part of our lifestyle,” says Michael. “Jo Anne and I haven’t missed a beat at Oak Crest. Since day one, the staff has been helpful and encouraging to us, and it’s been fun to meet other residents with similar interests.”

For 40 years, Jo Anne has embraced the challenge of distance running. With her sons, she competed in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, the largest ten-mile road race in the country. 

“Running has always been part of my overall fitness regimen, and at Oak Crest I try to run three miles outdoors every other day,” says Jo Anne. “I also use the equipment in the center and do yoga.” 

Welcoming input

Resident input and demand for amenities like the new fitness center were driving influences for the renovation project under way in Town Center.   

“We invited Oak Crest residents to participate in the planning process through Town Hall meetings and live call-in shows featured on our in-house television station,” says Lundh. “Throughout the process, we also have had design samples like fabrics and flooring on display for residents to see and touch.”

Minimizing inconvenience to community members who already call Oak Crest home is paramount throughout the renovation and construction  process. Lundh is confident that when the project is complete, it will all be worth it.

“As with anything, change can be difficult,” says Lundh. “I like to think of it this way: If you live in a house for 30 years, when it comes time to sell, you are going to have to make some changes in order to attract buyers. The same is true at Oak Crest. Our ongoing commitment to comprehensive upkeep and maintenance is an important reason people choose Oak Crest as their home.”