Board to Award Contract for Rocky Run Park Improvements

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2012 at 10:15 am 5,706 66 Comments

(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Nearly $3 million worth of improvements are coming soon to Rocky Run Park, at 1109 N. Barton Street in the Courthouse-Clarendon area.

The Arlington County Board on Saturday is expected to award a $2.95 million contract to Meridian Construction Co. to build the first phase of the new park, which has been in the works since 2010. Funding for the improvements is coming from 2010 Neighborhood Conservation funds, park bond funds and park pay-as-you-go funds.

The finished 2.4 acre park is expected to feature the following amenities:

  • One lighted basketball/volleyball court
  • One lighted basketball/futbol sala court
  • A lighted synthetic grass multipurpose field with bleachers
  • A sandbox and two play areas
  • A picnic shelter, picnic tables and benches
  • A skateboarding area with “skate-able art”
  • A “raised boardwalk”
  • Bicycle parking
  • Drainage improvements

Per a neighborhood request, the volleyball court will have a net installed by default, which must be removed by park staff in order for basketball to be played. The courts and the multipurpose field will be lighted with dark sky compliant “Green Generation” lighting which will shut off after 10:00 p.m.

The skate-able art will be constructed as part of a second phase of park construction, funded with 2012 Neighborhood Conservation funds.

In the Board report, county staff said the final price tag of the park increased by $850,000 due to extra costs associated with making the park Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

Construction on Phase I of the park is expected to begin this winter. No word yet on when construction is expected to wrap up.

  • Great location

    This is a great location for a park of his type. It has been a neglected space for decades. Well used, but needs improvements.

    • YTK

      What? No Bocce courts?

      • DCBuff

        Where’s the spray park thingy?

        • WeiQiang

          *waves* over here!

          • drax

            Nice Speedos.

  • Captain_Obvious

    What’s a futbol sala court ?

    • Andy

      I had to look it up myself. In English, it’s apparently called “futsal.” According to Wikipedia, it is “a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão, which can be translated as “hall football” or “indoor football”.”

      • Captain_Obvious

        So why are they building an indoor soccer court outdoors ? And is there a huge demand for indoor soccer?

        • Andy

          Well, it says “mainly played indoors,” not “exclusively played indoors.” I suspect among the Arlington residents who come from parts of the world other than the U.S., there’s a generally high interest in all forms of soccer.

        • CW

          I think they are just pointing out another potential use for the basketball court. It looks like the basketball court is also the same size/shape as what is needed for “futbol sala”.

          • Eric

            Is the basketball court built-down to volleyball size, or is the volleyball court built-up to basketball court size?

          • WeiQiang

            How about just built to the larger of the two and marked for both?

          • Eric

            Then it would be built for basketball but the volleyball net poles would be farther apart than normal. You would need a special net.

          • CW

            Have you never been in a high school gym? The basketball court is full size. It has volleyball markings on it too. You use the appropriate set of markings when playing the given sport.

          • Eric

            Yeah, but we had portable net poles (tires filled with concrete and a pole set in the middle). That’s how we were able to string the net to use the volleyball markings.

            Are you saying that is what will be used at this facility?

          • WeiQiang

            Since it’s a public park and not a staffed facility, the conversion is going to have to be easy and durable. Patrons will have to convert it themselves. I don’t know what options that leaves.

      • KickedInTheHead

        I was hoping it was a foot volleyball court. We don’t have any of those around here and it’s a lot more aerobic than bocce.

  • 1234

    And a year later, Columbia Pike between 4 mile run and Taylor Street continues to be virtually impassable. But at least we’ll have “skate-able art” . . .

    • Columbia Piker

      I agree! No more luxury spending until you repave my road or build the streetcar!

  • Footie

    What’s the material currently on the site of the future synthetic grass field? IIRC, it was like finely crushed rock.

  • Public Servant

    So as the county stars down another tough economic depression in the upcoming year, they decide to spend 3 million on a park and in the same breath tell their employees that healthcare is going up, COLAs are postponed for yet another year, and pay raises to keep our employees competitive with surrounding jurisdictions are out of the question. Seems like a poor use of resources…

    Arlington County: Where we love our pubic servants a lot… But we love parks more!

    • drax

      Good point, but the county can’t legally transfer all the money from this park to pay for other functions – at least some of it is dedicated, as noted in the story.

    • Deadite

      You can’t get fired and you’ll retire at 55. Cry me a river.

      • drax

        Really? County employees can’t get fired and can retire with full benefits at 55?

    • Mick Way

      You do get it that park bond funds must be spent on parks, yes? That they can’t be diverted to general operations? And that the bonds were voted upon and approved in 2010?

    • CW

      Nice typo chief.

    • Tre

      providing kids with good recreation facilities > public servant woes

  • Swag

    “The courts and the multipurpose field will be lighted with dark sky compliant “Green Generation” lighting which will shut off after 1:00 p.m.”


    • WeiQiang

      Can’t get greener than that. The lights aren’t permitted on after 1pm during the day and won’t be turned on at night. Zero emissions.

    • bobco85

      It should say 10 p.m. according to page 3 of the Board report (link is in 2nd to last paragraph of this article).

      Also, looking up the board report, the lights are made by Musco. Here’s their website for more information: Outdoor Lighting – Musco Sports Lighting. I don’t know which product they will choose, but it appears that the lighting is designed to try and prevent light spillage into the surrounding area, hence the dark sky compliance.

  • Not Me

    Arlington – FLUSH with YOUR money!


    • Captain_Obvious

      As long as people vote “yes” for everything without a full understanding, we’ll have plenty of futbol sala courts…

      • drax

        So you know that a majority of voters who support park bonds don’t actually fully understand what they voted for. You surveyed them all?

        • Captain_Obvious

          Yea I did, and there were plenty of people who came on here and said the same thing. Once again, all you do is respond to people on here and never offer your own opinions.

          • drax

            Well, no, you didn’t poll all the voters. That’s not true. You didn’t do that.

          • Captain_Obvious

            neither did you d-roo. Provide your own opinions for a change instead of trolling on others’ comments.

          • drax

            Of course I didn’t. I’m not the one who said I did.

            My opinions is that claiming that the voters who disagree with you are just uninformed is lame.

          • Captain_Obvious

            I didn’t say people who disagree with me are uninformed. There you go again, misinterpreting what someone says. Your opinion is that my opinion is lame ? Ok…pot, meet kettle.

    • B22201

      Several months later, I don’t understand how ALL of this could cost $850K. . .yet the Clarendon dog park is going to cost $1.6 million.


      • B22201

        I can’t read. 🙁

        It increased by 850K. . .it’s a very expensive park at $2.95 Million.

  • Not me

    I don’t love the public servants. They can go fly a kite, or find a real job. The firemen are ok with me. All others I could do without.

    • drax

      No you couldn’t.

      • Not me

        Yes, I really could.

        • drax

          No, you really couldn’t.

          • Not me

            Yes I really could. Infinity +1. You lose.

          • drax

            No, you couldn’t. Not for long.

            Without police, you’d get murdered. Without trash collection, you’d die of disease. Without road maintenance, you’d die because you couldn’t get to work to make money to buy food or you hit a huge pothole and roll over your SUV and crush yourself.

            It might take a while, but you wouldn’t survive.

            It’s funny that I have to explain this.

          • Captain_Obvious

            That’s silly, everything you just said is silly. It’s funny you feel the need to “explain” this…

          • Not me

            It’s funny that you REALLY don’t understand. I have lived without all
            Of the things you just Mentioned. No police, I didn’t get murdered, no trash collection didn’t get sick, no road maintenance and I managed to get to work. I feel sorry for you that you don’t understand that you can live without these things. It must be a sad life to live where you lack any independence. You know some people do things for themselves. I guess you can’t understand. What a sad existence for you. If I need something I try to go about independently securing it and not relying on others for everything.

          • Hank

            You shouldn’t argue with him, Drax. “Not Me” clearly lives off the grid… in Arlington.

          • B22201

            Or Naples, Italy. They seem to survive without any of those things mentioned. . . and they somehow have much better pizza.

          • Not me

            Hanks, This whole inter-web thingama job might be accessible to people that don’t live in Arlington… Or might have lived in other places that were not nanny states. Just saying…

          • Hank

            No, I get that, why would you be on this site if you didn’t live in Arlington? And where have you lived where you didn’t benefit from road service, power, water, etc?

          • Not me

            A foreign country. Lived just fine, no police, etc. I figured things out for myself.

  • S. Arlington Res

    WHY do voters continue to approve park bonds? We pay out the nose in property taxes, are deep in an economic recession, yet all the bond initiatives pass yet again with flying colors. Therefore we get parks with luxury items like two lighted courts and a synthetic surface playing field. A nice new beautiful park will be great for the landlords who will be able to charge more for properties in the area and further drive out any remaining low-income residents. Arlingtonians are the worst bunch of limousine liberals I have ever seen.

    • drax

      So they’re rich and they want lots of nice things and they are driving out the poor. Maybe they aren’t “limousine liberals” – maybe they are just conservatives.

    • Deadite

      “We pay out the nose in property taxes, are deep in an economic recession…”

      No, we’re not in a recession, let alone a deep recession.

      • CW

        Seriously, we’re in such a deep recession that area home sales increased 45% year-over-year at an average price of $540k according to this morning’s story. It’s like 1929 all over again.

  • Where Have All the Flowers Gone

    S. Arlington Res,

    It continually amazes that there is always kvetching about park bonds. The variety of parks in this county are one of the reasons many of us enjoy living here.

    Not sure why one would think lighted courts would be a luxury. It allows those of us who are actually working a chance to enjoy their use in the evenings.

    As for synthetic playing fields – the county needs more of them, not less. The use some of these fields receive is constant and the synthetic option allows for more taxpayers to get their $’s worth.

    There are plenty of conservatives who back park bonds, perhaps you need to get out a bit more!

    • Quoth the Raven

      I wonder if synthetic fields are cheaper in the long run anyway. No mowing, no fertilizer (thus cleaner too) etc. And since Arlington closes its grass fields if one drop of rain falls, these fields remain open and kids can use them.

    • Glebe Roader

      There really isn’t a lot of kvetching about park bonds. A few people on this site complain about any park bond, but the vast majoring of residents approve them. I agree that the great park system is one of the reasons I enjoy living in Arlington.

    • Captain_Obvious

      and it continues to amaze me that people want the county to keep spending $, especially on “specialty” parks that a niche audience will utilize.

  • Mick

    One quibble.

    The story begins, “Nearly $3 million worth of improvements…”

    Probably more accurate to say it will “cost nearly $3M.”

    “Worth” is another matter all together.

    • DCBuff

      One might also be able to question “improvements.”

      • Deadite

        Anything would be an improvement over what is there now (or, more accurately, what isn’t there, like say, grass). The place is a dump. But, that “worth” argument probably has some legs…

    • CW

      Isnt the old saying that something is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it? I am assuming there will be a competitive bid process…

  • MDP

    It will be a beautiful place for the homeless people to hangout at once the 24/7 shelter opens. Can’t wait.


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