The renovated great room at Meuse Forest Neighborhood Center features a Maryland sports theme, air hockey and pool table, leather couches in front of four televisions and a double-room fireplace. Other center upgrades include new fitness equipment and a redesigned media room.

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. -- Meuse Forest Neighborhood Center reopened Feb. 10 after undergoing a significant renovation.

Picerne Military Housing hosted an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. for residents to engage with friends and neighbors and check out the new upgrades and additions.

During the open house, Picerne conducted a free raffle for four sport jerseys, four basketballs, a Foot Locker gift card and an iPod nano, totaling 10 winners. Refreshments were also served.

Since January 2005, the neighborhood center has been a staple in the privatization program for residents who have gathered there for family activities and to use the center's amenities.

Now, more than six years later, much has changed. Another two neighborhood centers have been added to Picerne's growing portfolio on Fort Meade - both with a style and flavor reflecting the local community and resident input.

The Meuse Forest Neighborhood Center is no different. The center has been transformed to showcase a Maryland sports theme. Memorabilia from the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles and Washington Capitals are all represented in the great room.

The best part of the renovation is that it reflects feedback from residents at Fort Meade. As part of the renovation process, Picerne asked residents: "What can we do to make the center better?"

Kerrie Lemma, vice president of design, said a thoughtful approach was taken.

"We listened to families living on post over time and now we have a better understanding of what makes our centers special and appealing to our customers," Lemma said.

The process was successful and as a result, residents get to enjoy a more modern center.

Amenities to the sports-style great room include an air hockey and pool table, leather couches in front of four televisions and a double-room fireplace.

The media room was redesigned to showcase "Meade's Got Talent." A stage for enthusiastic karaoke singers was installed along with theater-style seating, Wii and Xbox systems, a karaoke machine and a juke box.

New systems have been set up in the center to facilitate trash and recycling. Disposing the two will be more seamless than in the past.

Additional enhancements include new equipment in the fitness center such as state-of-the-art treadmills, ellipticals and a new sit-up machine.

"I can't wait to use the new exercise equipment," said Maricela Perez, who makes regular visits to the fitness center.

The multipurpose room, where residents can host meetings and gatherings, now contains a TV and counter space. Residents and guests can hook up a laptop to view PowerPoint presentations and more.

"All these additions make Meuse Forest a showcase neighborhood for residents to host various functions," Lemma said.

As part of the community management and development plan for the next 40 years, Picerne will continue to upgrade and renovate homes and ancillary facilities under the Residential Communities Initiative.

Picerne plans to renovate centers that are more advanced in the privatization program over the next few years. Potomac Place, the first neighborhood center built on Fort Meade, has already undergone minor renovations such as new fitness equipment, flooring and upgrades to meetings spaces and amenities.

Picerne will take the feedback and experience from the Meuse Forest renovation to other neighborhood centers' renovations in the future.

"We've come a long way since we completed the first neighborhood center in 2003," Lemma said. "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our centers so they meet our residents' needs. After all, they are for them."

For photos of the Meuse Forest renovations, visit www.meadepicerne.com.

Page last updated Thu February 23rd, 2012 at 00:00