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Pool Construction Underway at Overlee Club

by Katie Pyzyk — February 21, 2012 at 3:45 pm 3,741 25 Comments

After a number of delays, the long awaited construction on the Overlee Community Association pool and clubhouse (6030 Lee Hwy) has begun. Final permits were obtained just last week, allowing construction to move forward.

The delay in obtaining county permits has been one of the numerous factors contributing to overall project delays, according to Overlee Long Range Planning Committee Chairman Chris Tai. He explained that a project like this is difficult due to squeezing a number of different things onto one compact site.

To those who criticize the length of time the project has taken to get going, Tai suggests remaining focused on forward progress.

“There’s plenty of time later to go back and figure out what could have been done differently,” Tai said. “But for now, we’re focused on getting the pool open and minimizing the disruption to members and the community in general.”

Demolition of the pool and the late 19th centruy clubhouse began in January and recently finished. Currently, crews at the site have begun construction on the new pool, deck and surrounding facilites.

The plan is to open different sections of the club in phases as they’re completed. Safety barriers will surround areas that are still under construction. The goal is to get the bath house and lap pool opened first, so swimmers can get back in the water as soon as possible. At this point, the best estimate for opening the main pool and surrounding deck is early June. The clubhouse will open last, possibly as soon as mid-July.

Tai says the lack of a clubhouse for at least part of the season should come as no surprise to members.

“We told all our members from day one that they shouldn’t anticipate much use of the clubhouse this coming summer,” Tai said. “The priority is to get the main pool up and running as soon as possible.”

Some members have expressed dismay at losing use of the private club’s facilities for a portion of the year and have suggested pro-rating fees. So far, the Overlee board does not have plans to approve such a measure.

According to the Overlee construction blog, which tracks progress on the new pool, the board had actually considered deferring the project until after this summer because of all the delays. That idea was scrapped when the board further examined safety, the need to change out personnel and the potential for higher costs if the project is further delayed. It was given the green light for this year, despite missing the original Memorial Day goal and cutting into the swimming season.

Tai said the hope is that no more obstacles will arise and the first portion of the new pool can open in June, according to the new schedule.

“Now we’re just really looking forward to charging ahead with construction,” Tai said.

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  • James Crow

    What is the history of pools that are owned & maintained by a membership association, vs. being owned & run by the municipality and taxpayers? Was it segregation? Developers using amenities to attract homebuyers? Good govt? Bad govt?

    • John

      The public pools in VA, DC, and MD were segregated by law. Glen Echo Park (the old amusement park), wasn’t desegregated until 1961.

      The private clubs were established as part of developing neighborhoods.

      • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

        as a very blatant attempt at segregation.

        Each of the private swim clubs had a “membership boundary” and amazingly none of them included the black neighborhoods, or the apartment building neighborhoods.

        In fact, Donaldson Run Recreation Club (yes that one) still has boundaries and if you don’t live in a set area, you can’t join. yeah, yeah, it isn’t about discrimination it is about neighbors enjoying each other and keeping OTHERS OUT.

        Don’t believe me, check it out yourself: (oh yea, don;’t look for anything but “good” single family houses on this map:
        http://www.drra.org/membership-boundaries/

        and Arlington Forest has a “priority area” WTF is that?
        http://arlingtonforestclub.org/membership/priority-map.php

        • Ralph

          Just for kicks, I’d love for you (not the County) to open a pool club. It can’t be public, too many regulations / insurance requirements. You can’t serve the world, you’d like it to be for your community. Go ahead, draw the boundaries / set the membership standards. I’ll look at them and find racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, triscadecaphobia, or anything else I want to find within them.

        • Life

          Upton Hills has no such restrictions. Just be sure to get there when it opens so you can be sure there’s enough room. Otherwise, best buy a house within a neighborhood that has the foresight to purchase land and construct a pool complex for their own enjoyment, if the pool is that important to you.

          Or buy a pool. Or join WGCC, Congressional, K of C, ANCC, or any other place with a pool. Or go to Yorktown, W&L, etc. Lots of options for swimming Varying price points. Sorry if the particular one you want isn’t public.

        • ArlingtonNative

          Like Ralph … said, create anything and people who are looking for something to complain about (such as yourself) will find a “reason” to complain.
          The only interesting point I took away from your post is that the Arlington Forest club “priority” area actually includes the Dominion Hills club inside their boundries!

  • Ashton Heights

    Isn’t it like $3000 to be a member? I mean I love swimming, but if its that expensive I’d much rather drive to Haynes Point with its 50 yard pool at $3 a swim.

  • Ho hum

    So they tore down a 100+ year building? Where were the historic preservation advocates?

    • Ashton Heights Three

      There were lots of complaints, but nothing that could be done. VA is a property owner’s state, and there’e usually very little that anyone else can do if is what’s called “by-right”–as much as others may like a building–or tree for that matter.

      • BallstonDoofus

        Thank God. Old =|= “historic”. Property owners can, and should be able to, do what they want with their own property (obviously things that affect other property owners aside). Someone else “liking” a building on my property shouldn’t have the least bit to do with my ability / right to replace it when it becomes functionally obsolete.

        I find it funny that if you took an “old” building and wanted to radically change its facade by sticking a bunch of ugly, ultra-modern (and inefficient) solar panels on it instead of replacing it entirely with a functioning and much more efficient Green building, many of the complaints about “historic value” and/or “aesthetic character” would simply drop away.

  • Ashton Heights as well

    I would pay multipes of 3000k to join a pool club around here. There are super long waiting lists for the very limited numbers of local summer pools – I was told 10 plus years at some places when I moved to this area a year ago.

  • Luther

    Never assume about costs and summer pool availability. Contact the various pools to find out what are the actual costs. There are many options in Arlington and McLean. There is also the public pool at the end of Patrick Henry on Wilson. The two new pools at Washington Lee and Yorktown are inside, but great venues.

    Someday maybe there will be a spectacular pool at Long Bridge Park.

    If you are a triathlete and/or swimmer who wants to get a fine workout consider swimming with John Flanagan at Hanes Point in the summer for a nominal fee. Workouts are 5:30am to 7am and 7am to 8:30am. Some private clubs such as Sports and Health have good pools, Master Swim programs and learn to swim programs for all ages.

  • Casey

    The knights of Columbus pool is only $850 for non-Knights of Columbus families, with no application or initiation fees. Plus no waiting list, 1st come, 1st in. http://www.kofcedw2473.org/facilities/pools.shtml

    • Dum Dum Guy at the Gates of Dawn

      I think it only costs $50 to join the Knights and that drops the pool membership tp $400.

  • Tom Smart

    anyone can use my pool for $2995 membership fee. let me know if you are interested.

    • OldTimer

      LOL… you may get some takers if we get a scorcher summer!

  • Frivolous

    Overlee Overrated!

  • Disgruntled

    As an Overlee member, I’m more than a little disappointed that the first place I heard that the main pool definitely would not be open for Memorial Day is on a blog and not from the Overlee Board.

  • Mr Neutron

    Overlee member here too — communication re this project all along, including costs &c. beforehand so members knew what they were voting for, has been poor imo.

    The results should be good, though.

    The K of C pool is crowded, just so-so and far inferior to Overlee, we did not enjoy it — so you do get what you pay for (we joined Overlee before initiation fees went up a few yrs ago so it was less costly).

    • Casey

      Inferior?
      The Knights pool has 2 large pools, a large kiddie pool, full concession with hot food, a beer/wine bar, many picnic tables, permanent grills for member’s use, a tennis court, playground, halfcourt basketball court, sand volleyball court, a bocce court, a large bbq pavilion that’s rentable for large parties. All on 10 acres of land on top of a hill with nice breezes to spred out on. Yes, a few peak weeks it gets crowded but most weeks it’s very comfortable numberswise.

      Overlee’s amenities?

      • Overlee Overall

        26 time NVSL Div 1 Champion Swim Team

  • yequalsy

    While communication has been downright miserable and untimely I got my Overlee bill today right on time. I wonder how many families will go inactive?

    • Disgruntled

      I hadn’t even thought of that until you mentioned it. I could still pay the second half of the construction assessment and for just $125 more get a guarranteed full summer pool season from KofC. Hmmm…

  • Overlee Fan

    On Feb 22, I received my invoice for the Overlee pool this summer. Here is the deal:

    The pool board admitted that the pool won’t open until June. (that is code for “sometime in July”)
    -They raised the price on the 3 cards or more rate, while admitting the season will be shorter.
    -The pool board said to pay my $1,200 by March 16 (23 days from today) or pay a $50 late fee.
    -They never said “Thanks for being a member” Or please pardon our dust or anything like that. There never seems to be any expression of gratitude toward the membership.

    My advice to all members would be to take a pass on membership this year, go inactive, and avoid disapointment.

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