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NEWS | May 1, 2019

Playtime Arrives at NNSY's Scott Center Annex

Visitors of Norfolk Naval Shipyard’s (NNSY) Scott Center Annex have long waited for a new playground and picnic shelters. With excitement, that anticipated day was shared with shipyard families and employees during a March 29 ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the new Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) community playground and picnic shelters.
“This is an exciting day for the shipyard community. Today we are celebrating the completion of two projects,” said Chad Rickner, NNSY MWR Director. “These quality of life improvements onboard Scott Center Annex offers quality spaces to gather, socialize, and play.”
Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Community Recreation Management, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (CNRMA), NNSY MWR, and Public Works Department (PWD) Portsmouth teamed up to evaluate the existing condition and develop a project to improve the equipment and areas.
“We based the projects on CNRMA’s recommendation after looking at the age of equipment, last replacement, and whether the play spaces met community recreation standards,” said Leslie Gould, CNIC Recreation Manager. “With the amazing partnership the MWR team has had with the NAVFAC Public Works teams, and the CNIC Fleet and Family Readiness facilities teams in the District of Columbia (DC) and Millington, we have been able to achieve these great improvements.”
The team’s mission was to improve the green spaces and give the playground an innovative approach by making it more attractive to children. “It really wasn't very appealing and fun before. The new playground meets all national safety standards and is Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) compliant,” said Rickner. “More importantly, it's very inviting for families and offers children ages five to twelve multiple play options including musically themed and designed play elements. The new playground fosters children's ability to have a positive outdoor experiences and opportunities to explore and play.”
The playground project was possible with an Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD) grant which is used to improve community recreation. NNSY was one of the first installations to receive this type of grant. The Scott Center Annex picnic shelter project was possible with the Community Recreation Grant which brought renovations and installed an outdoor basketball court; new back stop and dugout fencing on a ballfield; parks and recreation fencing across the annex; and a large picnic shelter beside the Strike Zone Bowling Community Center.
“Projects and improvement initiatives such as these help provide a platform for command, community, and family gatherings, which provide support and recreational services that contribute to the retention, readiness, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of our NNSY community,” said Rickner.
MWR is diligently keeping the momentum of improving morale, quality of life, and activities for the shipyard and their families with upgrades and renovations across Scott Center Annex. Future projects will include a renovated Strike Zone Bowling Center and Community Recreation Center, and new splash pad next to Scott Center Annex pool.
“This ribbon cutting today marks another step in the efforts to provide the playground for Norfolk Naval Shipyard families, families in the housing areas, and our workforce the opportunity to come over and enjoy some time here,” said Shipyard Commander Captain Kai Torkelson. “This area really feels like a first class place to bring your family. If we can feel that way and spread that feeling throughout to those who live in housing, outside the gate, or in Quarters A, they can bring their children over here and have some quality family time together.”
Over the past several years, MWR has been working hard to improve recreation facilities. “The MWR community recreation programs and facilities continue to increase morale and strengthen readiness throughout the warfighter community for our military and civilian personnel many years into the future,” added Torkelson.