Arlington’s first stand-alone aquatic center could open in the coming months.
“The [Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center] will open this summer, but it’s too far away to give an exact month or day, ”Parks and Recreation spokesperson Susan Kalish told ARLnow.
The approved budget for fiscal 2022 includes funding for the opening of the 475 Long Bridge Drive facility in Long Bridge Park, using $ 2 million of a donation of nearly $ 10 million from Boeing, including the DC area head office is nearby. According to the budget, the center is expected to open in July.
As the work draws to a close, project manager Erik Beach gave ARLnow a tour of the facility, which has a swimming pool for competitive swimming and a family pool, a center with fitness equipment and spaces for classes, parties and events.
“It’s a pretty amazing site,” he said.
Work began on the 92,000 square foot swimming and recreation facility – the second of four phases of the Long Bridge Park redevelopment – three years ago. But the history of the controversial project goes back much further.
Voters approved funding for the project in a bond referendum in 2012, but due to rising costs, the recreation center was suspended in 2014. Three years later, the county council voted to award a construction contract and start up the $ 60 million recreation center. The project started in 2018.
A hallway “will have a timeline of the development of the project, because it has had such a long and rich history, if you will,” Beach said.
Boeing’s donation will not only cover operating costs. It will also make entry free for active-duty military families in the Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore Service Area USO. Families will have access to approximately 5,000 daily passes per year through a lottery system.
“We are grateful to be able to recognize the importance of our active-duty military families by providing them with a day of fun and fitness at our new state-of-the-art facility,” said Chairman of the Board Matt de Ferranti in a statement. communicated.
Jason Pak, director of Boeing Global Engagement, said the company prides itself on giving members of the armed forces convenient access to the facility.
“The Long Bridge Aquatic and Fitness Center will be of critical importance not only in providing support for the recovery and rehabilitation of service members, but also in promoting the health and well-being of all in our area. community, ”he said in a statement.
The community will have access to two swimming pools. Competitive swimmers, water polo players and synchronized swimmers can use the 50-meter pool with diving laps, a hot tub and two movable partitions (the starting platform for swimmers). Amateur swimmers can enjoy the family pool with a paddling pool, water slide, four 25-meter lanes, water volleyball and basketball courts, and a man-made river.
On dry land, the center has an 8,000 square foot fitness center with cardio and fitness equipment, as well as a studio for group classes. The facility also has three community halls and two spaces for fitness classes, parties, and gatherings.
The redeveloped Long Bridge Park includes over 10 acres of new occasional use park, new public artwork, and outdoor space for festivals and special events.
“This is an area that can really exceed expectations,” Beach said.
Down the road, even more is on offer for the park, including an observation deck, a sports field built on top of an expanded parking lot, and an indoor athletics center with a climbing wall, squash courts and a multi-purpose court.
On the county website:
Phase 3B will complete the exterior park components of Long Bridge Park. A fourth rectangular, lighted and synthetic synthetic turf sports field will be constructed above the surface parking lot that was built in phase 1. The current sloping sides of this field will be reduced below the new field, widening the field. to approximately 254 spaces. . Finally, an elevated walkway will be extended from the east lookout across the adjacent rail tracks to an observation deck that will be built on county property east of the tracks. The observation deck will provide panoramic views of the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary and the Washington DC skyline and provide interpretive opportunities. The walkway and platform will be designed to harmonize with the other features of the park and their environment. To protect sensitive plant and animal species in and along Roaches Run, the platform will be built in an environmentally friendly manner and will not provide any public access to the ground.
Phase 4 will complete the aquatic, health and fitness facility by adding a large multi-activity center (MAC) on the site of the surface parking lot of phase 2. The heart of the MAC will be a large space that can accommodate indoor soccer, futsal, basketball, volleyball, tennis and community events, among other activities. Additional fitness area and group exercise rooms will be included. An elevated indoor walking / jogging path will be constructed around the MAC. The facility will also include racquetball and / or squash courts and a climbing wall. At the north end of the building, two meeting rooms with stunning views of the monumental skyline will be available for rental and events. Five hundred and forty-seven (547) parking spaces for the facility will be provided in an underground structure under the new addition. The Esplanade will be completed in its northernmost part and its access will be extended around the interior installation.