Freedom Center Celebrates Two Years of Success

Posted: October 2, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

When the Freedom Aquatic and Fitness Center opened its doors two years ago at the Prince William Campus, it was an unproven experiment in community partnership. But the results of that experiment have surpassed the hypotheses. Developed through a unique partnership between George Mason, Prince William County and the City of Manassas, the center begins its third year of offering fitness and wellness opportunities to the community.

The center boasts a membership of approximately 7,000 participants who have made more than 450,000 visits to the facility so far this year. Membership continues to grow, and the retention rate of original members is high.

“We feel our strong retention rate is due to program satisfaction,” says Ronald Carmichael, Freedom Center general manager. “Members have chosen to stay because they’re happy.” Carmichael explains that membership packages were restructured last year to include a broader range of services to meet the individual needs of members.

The preschool program continues to grow since it opened to the community last year. One-day, holiday and spring break camps offered for children during the academic year when school is not in session also are gaining in popularity. Summer camps, which doubled in size since last year, served more than 2,000 children this past summer. Wellness and health education programs, such as senior fitness, childhood obesity, nutrition, water therapy, and a free lecture series, have seen a dramatic rise in participation.

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