Arlington County began planning big changes to Long Bridge Park a few years ago. The biggest change to be made was an aquatics and fitness center, which would be an incredible amenity for those that live along the Orange Line. We will hopefully still see a new center built, but according to a recent County release, the scale of the project has to come down, way down.
After reviewing proposals from developers, it became clear that the allocated budget would not be enough to build the center that was originally planned. The original budget called for $79 million, but bids were well above that mark. With this in mind, Arlington County officials determined the best approach is to stick with a budget already available. There is $64 million available through a bond issue and developer contributions.
With this new budget in play, the project is on hold pending new designs which will include a scaled-down aquatic and fitness center for Long Bridge Park, as well as a smaller allocation of land for the facility. The center itself will be reduced by 37% from its original design, and the 10.5 acres dedicated to the project will lessen by 17%. It is estimated that the scaled-down project will come to $63- $67 million in costs.
Some of the reductions in the Long Bridge Park aquatic center include dropping from three to two pools, fewer lobbies, gathering spaces and storage areas. There will be a combined family and teaching pool, but no longer a therapy pool or three dive towers. The new plan will retain space for the fitness center, however. The smaller space will bring in automatic cost savings for the running of the center. Less square footage makes for less expense on the HVAC system. The final outcome of the new plan will in part be determined by how much under the budget new proposals come in. If there are extra funds, some of the extras from the original Aquatic Center may be able to be added back in. Another option that could help retain a therapy pool or add in spectator seating would be for a partner or sponsor to come aboard the project.
Whatever the outcome may be, a new aquatics and fitness center is something the residents and visitors to Arlington can benefit from. There are regular waiting lists for aquatic lessons at other area pools, and the new center will be a welcome addition to Arlington County. When you are ready to buy or sell your home, myself and the Orange Line Living team are here to provide you with our unique and specialized services so you can turn your dreams into reality. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us directly at 571-969-7653 or at [email protected]