Tarika Simmons participated in activities at the David R. Pinn Community Center as a child. Last week she took her daughter Bianca to the ribbon cutting for the renovated center.
"I got to see the center change from -- lets just call it the old look -- and now it looks like a coffee shop," said Simmons. "We definitely didn't have any flat screen TVs before!"
joined residents Friday at the grand re-opening.
The renovations reflect the efforts of the Sideburn Civic Association and the Little Bethel Baptist Church.
"The Pinn Center is practically an institution in and of itself in the Sideburn and Bonnie Brae communities," said Supervisor Cook. "It's historic, it's open to the community, and now that it's touched up, it's ready for the next generation."
During the summer, the Pinn Center was a "drop-in" recreation center for elementary school aged children, and hosts Movies Under the Stars every Friday night through September.
"It's been a central part of this community for the past 35 years," said Ned Barnes, director of the Pinn Community Center. "It has rejoined the community as a whole in the last five or six years. Today is a culmination of those years and the center's re-entrance into the community."
The renovations included new hardwood floors, fresh paint, new lights, a flat-screen television and a projector that is expected to be installed any day.
"The most important upgrade we got was lots of storage," explained Barnes. "Before it was four dirty walls and junk everywhere."
Also in attendance were members of the Goins family. In the post-Civil War era, the Goins were one of the first free black families to own land in Virginia. The land that the Pinn Community Center stands on was donated by James Goins.
His daughter-in-law, Carolyn Goins, was present for the ceremony and helped cut the ribbon.
"The center is very important to me because my granddaughter goes here." said Goins. "There is no recreation in this area, and for the children to just be able to come here is very helpful."
The Pinn Center, built on an acre of land donated in 1904 by David R. and Sara H. Pinn, is operated by the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services. The center is open to community organizations as a meeting space, as well as members of the community.