Grand Opening: Carver Rec. Center, The Jefferson School

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

January 19, 2013

The new and improved Carver Recreation Center at the Jefferson School opened its doors to the community on Saturday.

The center features 33,000 sq. ft. of space filled with new features for the whole community to benefit.

A gymnasium, fitness center with personal training services, gymnastics and group exercise studios, arts and crafts center, a cafe and much more.

These renovations are part of the Jefferson School's transformation in to an educational, cultural and recreational center for the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Ann Wicks Carter taught art at the Jefferson School when it was an elementary school. Her father, grandfather and great-grandfather also attended the school. For years now, she has been greatly invested in the Jefferson School City Project.

"In 2005, I stood on the stage of the Jefferson School auditorium and I said to about 200 people, in awe, I said, 'Imagine the possibilities'," Carter said.

And at Saturday's celebration and grand opening of the Carver Center, community groups located in the school felt a connection through their service.

Common Ground Healing Arts' space is where the library used to be when the school was segregated. They say, they are honored to be in that part of the building and feel there is definitely some symbolism.

"In providing these healing services, you know that we can kind of participate or contribute to people's healing journey's and to them, really manifesting their dreams and hopes as individuals," said Pheobe Haupt, program manager at Common Ground Healing Arts.

Carter says this has been 30 years in the making.

"When I walked in today, that's what I saw. I saw the possibilities, right there before us. It takes a whole community to make this happen."

One alum said he was surprised at how big the turnout was on Saturday but hopes it's a sign of an even brighter future for Charlottesville.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the Charlottesville support remains," said Curtis Morton Jr., Class of 1949.

An important landmark transformed to fit modern-day Charlottesville but filled with history and memories.

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