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Arlington County Moving Ahead with Aquatics Center

In a "breaking" news story shortly after the Arlington County Board's afternoon recessed meeting ended, ARLnow.com reported:

"After a years-long delay caused by anticipated cost overruns, Arlington County says it’s finally ready to move forward with the second phase of the Long Bridge Park project, including a scaled-down aquatics and fitness center."

According to ARLnow.com, the first phase of Long Bridge Park, located at 475 Long Bridge Park -- north of Crystal City, was completed in 2011.

A press release published by Arlington County, and distributed at 8:30 P.M., contains three bullets:
  • Cost-effective design/build construction method
  • Design competition to include community involvement
  • Community-recommended core programs moving forward

The press release goes to great pains to describe how project costs will be limited, pointing out:

"The budget for the total Phase 2 project, as approved by the County Board in the FY 2017-2026 Capital Improvement Plan, is $63 to $67 million, the amount of funding originally approved in 2012.  The final total will depend on decisions made during the design process.  The budget includes, in addition to the aquatics facility, an extension of the esplanade, rain gardens, public gathering spaces, parking, public art and additional environmental remediation." (emphasis added)

The county detailed the next steps, and noted, "The public will review the concepts in November 2017, with the Board then selecting the final design. construction(sic) is expected to begin in late 2018."

Who wouldn't want to build a vanity project in this "showplace of environmentally sound redevelopment of what was once a brownfield by the Potomac?" Only a politician, you say? But then the park includes "an overlook with views of capital monuments, the Wave Arbor public art feature, a rain garden, and more." You say you can already imagine the ribbon-cutting ceremony?

One Arlington pundit suggested that instead of building a new swimming pool for D.C., the Arlington County Board should consider voting to rejoin the original 10 square miles. And "CaptainObvious," commenting at ARLnow.com, wondered if the school capacity issue shouldn't be solved before the county starts building extra pools?

The August 4, 2016 Growls has links to several other Growls where you can obtain historical information about the Aquatics Center.

If you have concerns or questions about the Aquatics Center in particular, or Long Bridge Park in general, Growls readers who are Arlington County taxpayers are encouraged to contact the Arlington County Board. To contact the Board, just click-on the following link:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.

And tell them ACTA sent you.

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