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Renderings of Future Long Bridge Aquatics Center

by ARLnow.com November 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm 18,768 183 Comments

(Updated on 11/19/12) With partial bond funding for the planned Long Bridge Park Aquatics, Health and Fitness Facility approved by Arlington voters, the county is continuing to move forward with the design — and ultimately the construction — of the center.

Located north of Crystal City, just off of I-395, the facility will feature a 50 meter by 25 yard fitness and competition pool, a family leisure pool, a hot water therapy pool, a “teaching pool,” and a “free-form water play area that will… have a lazy river, slides, play features, and a zero-depth ‘beach’ entry.” There will also be an indoor cardiovascular and weight training fitness center, a community use space, child care, locker rooms and, in a planned second phase of construction, an “indoor track, large multi-activity center and various court spaces.”

Renderings, above and below, show the current designs for the facility, which will have its own surface parking lot, accessible via Long Bridge Drive.

The design of the Aquatics, Health and Fitness Facility is expected to be completed in April 2013, according to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation planner Erik Beach. The county will then put the project out for bid, with the goal of beginning construction in the early fall of 2013.

All told, the design and construction of the first phase of the center is expected to cost around $80 million, based on figures in the latest Capital Improvement Plan. There is no cost estimate for the second phase of the center, Beach said. Earlier, Beach erroneously quoted a figure of $115.6 million for the design and construction of both phases of the aquatics center, but said on Nov. 19 that his quote included the cost of building Long Bridge Park itself instead of the the second phase of the aquatics center.

Funding for the aquatics center is expected to come from public and private sources, including $42.5 million from this year’s park bond and $20 million from anticipated developer contributions.

  • Jesus

    Just what we need Child Car’s!

    • Fixed

    • WeiQiang

      Might as well learn to flip sooner than later.

  • Westover

    See, that first illustration should have been on the ballot. This?: Yes or No.

    • Yogurt

      How in the world is that thing ADA-compliant anyway?

    • dk (not DK)


  • John

    This building is very ugly, lacks in originality, and will mar the waterfront. Why was there no design competition for this project? We could’ve had Zaha Hadid or some starchitect design something interesting. What a waste of effort.

    • CW

      Oh yeah, all that glass and those organic curves are just horrid. Bring back I.M. Pei! Start lining up the cement trucks! Pour baby pour!

    • blah

      “mar the waterfront” um, what water front? the freight trains and airport?

    • BBMS

      It has a little Calatrava going on. Also evokes Ando’s Fort Worth Modern Art Museum.

    • DynaFlash 8

      Is Albert Speer still available?

      He used to design lots of “monumental” government building at one time.

  • Hank

    At first I thought $70 million might have been a bit exorbitant. But I hadn’t seen the picture of the slide. I was so wrong. This thing is kick-ass. The tubby kid at the end of the blue slide looks like he’s had a blast!

    • Ballston

      Counties with water parks > counties without water parks. This is a proven fact. Next time anyone tries to say they live somewhere better than you, just ask them if their government built them a water park.

      • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

        bro you need to get to prince william county stat.

        or the huge water park in PG county.

        • Exactly

          Re: PG county water park… I would prefer to go to a water park that does not contain reviews on Yelp about sexual assaults. Maybe that’s just me.

    • ARM


    • nom de guerre

      Now that you know that the interim price tag is “projected to cost $115.6 million” what do you think about the project?”

  • StarlandVocalBand

    Can you really see the fireworks that well from there?

    • big E

      YES! The fireworks are really cool from the park. Arlington County had a major event at the park on the 4th.

  • CW

    Needs a retractable roof.

    • Jerry Jones

      Don’t it, tho?

  • where’s the outdoor pool for the summer?

  • Swag

    Gonna make the Artisphere looks like a financially sound investment.

  • CA

    Hahaha, multiply the families in the pool by 50 and maybe it would be accurate.

    • thelevyisdry

      Seriously! This place will be a mad house in the winter months. And given its proximity to 395, I wouldn’t be surprised if the parking lot looked like that of Cosco in CC, i.e. >50% of cars from DC.

      • ohnoohnoohno

        Hopefully they will restrict access to Arlington taxpayers only. I really don’t want Maryland and DC folk using our resources.

        • Josh S

          I believe the usual practice is to charge more for non-Arlington co. residents. THere is no real justifiable basis for restricting access based on where you live. This isn’t Soviet Russia (yet).

        • A Moore

          I would hope that for maybe a couple of extra buck we Alexandrians could enjoy this water world:)

  • where’s the lazy river surrounding the entire complex?
    i mean, come on now, let’s do a wild wolfe lodge if we are going to spend that kind of money.

    • WeiQiang

      The “Lazy River” feature has been supplanted by the StreetCar terminus.

      • SamsonTheCat

        They should have combined the streetcar money with this money and just put in the world’s largest enclosed and heated lazy river from Columbia Pike to Potomac Yard. If you’re gonna go stupid at least go Guiness World Record stupid.

        • Josh S

          Extend it all the way to Skyline and you’ve got a deal! That would be freaking awesome.

    • DCBuff

      Great Wolf Lodge. I like your idea. The trolley won’t serve Williamsburg.

    • John Fontain

      It’s funny that you mention Great Wolf Lodge as a comparison, because Great Wolf Resort’s newest lodge just goes to prove the extent to which Arlington County is going to overpay to build this swimming complex.

      Great Wolf’s latest lodge, located in Concord, NC has an 84,000 square foot indoor waterpark, a 402 suite hotel, restaurants, 11,000 square feet of other indoor entertainment (such as a full service spa, indoor fitness center, minigolf, etc.), and 20,000 square feet of conference facilities. And the total cost is less than what Arlington County plans to spend on this project.

      • Not me

        No it doesn’t. You are wrong… Again John.

      • drax

        Great Wolf Lodge was the first thing I thought of too.

        I don’t know whether to be ecstatic or disgusted or both.

        • John Fontain

          If we would instead build the much larger Great Wolf Lodge/hotel for that same price, we could use the income from the hotel to pay for the entire project.

          Based on a comparison to both the Cub Run project and to the latest Great Wolf Lodge, it sure seems to me that we aren’t getting as much for our money as we could be getting.

          • drax

            Sure, but what’s the point of that? This is for people who can’t afford to stay at Great Wolf Lodge as well as those who can. (And you can’t go to the Great Wolf pool unless you’re staying overnight).

          • John Fontain

            I guess I was thinking that County residents could pay a use fee similar to current plans and non residents (such as tourists visiting DC) could pay to stay at the hotel and then use the facility as part of the hotel charge.

    • too soon?

      What about the wild dogs?

  • Allie

    Let the ArlNow shaming begin, but honest question from a young voter — where do the bond funds originate from? Will it be from current tax dollars generated by the County, or raised taxes? I didn’t feel like this was made clear on the Nov 6 ballot (nor was the fact that more than $40M of the $70M approved would go toward one singular project), but it also could be a matter of common sense that I’m just missing.

    • WeiQiang

      Here’s the County’s FAQ page on bonds: http://www.arlingtonva.us/departments/ManagementAndFinance/CapitalImprovementProgram/page78529.aspx

      I’m sure you’ll get a lot of amplification from your fellow posters.

    • Confused

      that would depend on what future budgets look like given current tax rates – which depends on spending on current ops, on the leves of property assesments, new developments, etc, etc. IOW it could not be on the ballot because its not possible to say.

      If Crystal City turns into the new dowtown DC and fills with high paying commercial tenants, things look a lot different than if, post BRAC, all those offices stay empty. Or if driverless cars come and all the kewl people decide they want to live in Burke. My sense is that the board expects no tax rate increases will be needed, and many people who disagree with the board think they will be needed.

    • Josh S

      I’m pretty sure the parks bond issue was not $70 million, but the $40 million.

      Bonds involve the jurisdiction that issues them borrowing money from those who buy them. So Arlington County would sell $50 million (for example) worth of bonds. Afterwards, the county has a $50 million debt on its hands. It must then allocate a portion of its annual budget to begin paying off that debt, similar to how you might pay off a mortgage or other loan.

      Things can get more complicated with dedicated funds identified before the bonds are sold, etc. But generally, it’s the general fund that makes the annual debt payments.

      The question of whether to raise taxes is a separate one, as it would involve an overall analysis each year of projected tax revenues versus projected expenses (including debt service). So, depending on general economic conditions, etc, selling a bond does not *automatically* mean that taxes will have to be raised. In fact, if a given jurisdiction has to consistently raise taxes each time it wants to issue a new bond, it will find its credit rating going down and will have to pay higher interest rates on the bonds. Arlington’s credit rating remains among the highest in the nation since the county has a remarkable history of meeting its debt obligations without the need for constant tax raises.

  • Ron Ryan

    Looks awesome – I’ve got a small kid that is going to love this.

    • Ballston

      I’ve got an adult me who is going to love this. Unless I’ve been looking at this wrong and the slides won’t be adult sized. In that case, I want my vote back.

    • Brah!

      He’ll be your age by the time construction has finished.

    • FrenchyB

      Seems like lots of folks thought this was just going to be racing/lap pool, and didn’t know about the recreational features.

      • John Fontain

        I think most on this site have known all along about the water park, that is why it has been compared repeatedly to the similar project that Fairfax County built for $19.2 million called Cub Run.

        • occasionally a fact

          John, John, John — how many times do we have to go through this? You have “repeatedly compared” this but the comparison is false.This facility’s pools are much larger than Cub Run. Move on.

          • John Fontain

            Right, and as I’ve also said repeatedly in the past:

            “We could build two Cub Runs – with a mind blowing square footage of 130,000 square feet – for $38.4. Or we could have the much smaller facility proposed by Arlington County (95,000 square feet) for almost twice the price of two Cub Runs ($70 million).”


            Now, we come to find that Long Bridge won’t cost $70 million, it will actually cost $115.6 million (65% more than what we were previously led to believe). How many Cub Runs could we build for $115.6 million?

            I anxiously await your reponse.

          • Really?

            didn’t your house doubled in value during the same period?

          • John Fontain

            We’re talking about construction costs, and no, construction costs did not.

          • Really?

            they’re playing catch up don’t you know

          • Josh S

            You don’t anxiously await a response cause you have already demonstrated that you couldn’t care less what anyone else says – you will continue to believe what you believe.

  • RonB

    Should have been more Bimmers and Benzes in the picture.

    • WeiQiang

      There will be 5000 BMWs, Benzes and – lest you forget – Prii parked in the Boeing HQ building.

      • jl

        I wonder if they plan to fix the drainage in the parking lot there first. Theentire place is a giant puddle after most storms.

  • Malaka

    No swim up bar?

    • Hank

      If they put in a swim up bar, this place will pay for itself.

    • WeiQiang

      /\ this /\

  • Grp

    You guys do need a decent lap pool in Arlington (LA Fitness and the W&L Pool aren’t up to par). This is a good thing. Especially since I won’t have to actually pay for it! lol. I’m sure there will be membership fees though.

    • Shirlie

      What about Yorktown? That pool was just reopened after a facelift at the beginning of 2012. Additionally, Wakefield HS is going to have a brand new aquatics center in Fall 2013.

      • SHLady

        YT and W&L are nice pools, but both very crowded. We could really use more lanes.

        • Really?

          go join a private club or build in your backyard if you don’t like the crowd. and lets double the lanes on 66 while we’re at it coz it sure is crowded all the time.

        • nom de guerre

          The county will be adding HOT lanes at Yorktown, W-L and Wakefield pools that will cost you extra to use.

    • Andrew

      W &L is nice. I swim there 2-3 times a week. Yes, it can get crowded (the swim and water polo team practices don’t help much.) But there are “slow” times where I can have only one other person the in lane most of time. Sometimes, for a good part of my swim, I’m by myself.

      But another pool in the area might make things easier.

  • Wilbur

    Um…. is everyone in the rendering pictures *White* ???? Will this be a segregated pool?

    • WeiQiang

      No. No.

      • drax

        What about bums?

  • McD

    What a complete waste of tax payer dollars. Arlington has no fiscal restraint. Cool, yes. Needed, no. A waste of public dollars to build and another $20M per year to support. Plus most people who will use it won’t even be from Arlington, just like W&L pool. If we just charged the out of towners 4 times what it costs Arlingotn residents at W&L, then we wouldn’t have an overcrowded pool.

    • FrenchyB

      “…another $20M per year to support?” No.

      • McD

        At least you agree that it is a complete waste of tax pay dollars.

        • FrenchyB

          No, I don’t.

    • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

      are the majority of the swimmers at W&L out of towners?

      If so – how do you know that?

    • SHLady

      the out of towners already pay a lot more. It would make no discernible differnce in the crowds.

  • YTK

    Looks like a kid’s Birthday Cake Topper

  • TJLinBallston

    I see a lot of Calatrava going on in the graceful swimming pavillion where international swimming competitions will showcased in high-style! This is about to become one of the most important and prestigious swimming venues in America. It MAKES the waterfront there. It’s gentle curve is easy on the eyes; the interior is oriented toward monument views.

  • nom de guerre

    Don’t forget that you will be able to observe Arlington County ONE take off and land at the airport from the “aquatique centre.”

  • David

    Not sure it’s a worthwhile investment for the county but as a swimmer I know I will use it. My question is, what is the plan for overflow parking? Where will people park and or walk from on Saturday where there is a huge swim meet and rec. soccer at all the fields?

    • WeiQiang

      Great question. Boeing HQ? Gateway North? Crystal Drive? Crystal Gateway underground?

    • Sim City

      Overflow parking in the river

    • Tommy

      I also wondered why they didn’t plan for a parking garage. I don’t think the parking space looks adequate, but surely someone investigated that–right?

    • occasionally a fact

      Parking is being provided to meet everyday needs for the facility and the fields. Sponsors of meets and tournaments will be required to provide shuttles to satellite parking in Crystal City and/or on weekends in the lots along Army-Navy Drive. There will also be bus service between the facility and Metro.

  • RelaxBrah

    What time does adult lazy river start? Can we take that to the county board?

  • Soccer mom

    Where does this sit with regard to the existing sports fields? Is there additional parking envisioned? If not, there is a problem, because this whole facility is kind of in a no man’s land between Route 1 and the river. I don’t know at what point the usage and revenue breaks even (in 2050??), but in any case, if there is gridlock between swimmers, divers, trail users and players, there will be a problem….

  • DynaFlash 8

    Which County Board member wanted this feature?

    A “free-form water play area”?

    Hmmm …

  • KalashniKEV

    Public Pool?

    Forget it.

  • bobco85

    This facility looks awesome! Its curves complement the rigid structure of the nearby Pentagon. I’m excited to see how Long Bridge Park looks when everything is completed.

    But there is one problem: why are there so many ghosts in the photos? Is the facility being built on ancient burial grounds or something? We need TAPS on the scene 😉

  • Sim City

    Holy buckets that’s a lot of comments in a short time!

  • PL25rd

    ARGH! Still pissed that this passed. It was the only bond referendum I voted against.

    • Anti Matter

      I voted the exact opposite.

    • Sim City

      People have been talking about this for years, back in the day when there were only 3 six-lane pools in the high schools. By 2014, all three schools will have larger pools. But from I can see, demand still exceeds supply since those pools have to serve the schools as well.

      • SomeGuy

        I think the lap pool is too small.

        • Sim City

          Maybe they’ll run the laps width-wise since it’s a 25X50 yard pool?

          • SomeGuy

            I’m sure they will sometimes. What I’m saying is that more square footage of pool surface should be built for lap swimming. A single 25×50 pool could still get crowded quickly regardless of the configuration. 2 pools of that measurement would be better. And I suspect that the lap pools will see the most usage anyway, so I’d focus there. It’s not like the county is sparing expense.

          • Sim City

            if the lap pool is full can just swim up the water slide

          • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

            if the lap pool is full, they can make it more expensive to swim in certain lanes and only let those who choose to pay extra swim in those lanes. fair for something funded by the government right? Oh wait, thats just for roads.

          • Confused

            will you have an ezpass on your swim trunks?

  • DynaFlash 8

    Want to have fun time at a public pool?

    Bring Toosie Rolls.

  • b

    would love to do a local foia of the emails/meetings pertaining to the release of these mockups.

    convenient how these didn’t show up until after the election.

    • WeiQiang

      There have been renderings and publications on the design and cost of the facility posted on the County portal for years. Check under the ‘Archive’ and other links for historical documents:


    • FrenchyB

      I didn’t have any problem finding these mock-ups the week before the election – they were on the county’s website.

      • b

        ah okay… my mistake. even more glad that i voted against the measure now tho.

    • Westover

      A few of these were even on this site in previous articles.

    • drax

      Convenient that nobody spoon-fed you information before the election, you mean.

  • craig

    pee pee pool

  • donna

    This looks SMALL.
    So it will get real crowded real fast. Every day.

    We spent time at the water mine in Fairfax this summer it was loads of fun. I would love a place like that in Arlington. But according to these renderings, we’re not getting that. We’re getting another Upton? But indoors? Meh.

    • WeiQiang

      Come to the Virginia Highlands Sprayground!

    • John Fontain

      I agree this looks small. It looks like it is no bigger (and maybe smaller) than the Cub Run kids area, which they built for just a fraction of the cost.

  • Andy

    Please support me when I run for office and try to put a damper on all this spending and unchecked development in Arlington.

    • Josh S

      Wait, you want to
      1. curb spending and
      2. Check development?

      What party will you be representing?

  • A4

    This was the only bond referendum that I voted against too, and I am still really amazed that it passed, even though I know Arlington Co. has a history of voting enthusiastically for bond referendums. Why do we need yet another pool and aquatics facility when we have 3 high schools that have indoor pools and one NoVA Parks and Rec outdoor pool that are all open to Arlington Co. residents?

    This just seems a bit excessive, even for Arlington Co. Don’t get me wrong, I love living in Arlington Co. and support most bond referendums. However, a thoughtful assessment of our population’s needs (not wants) and the financial considerations involved is needed at every election and bond referendum vote, if not more often. Let’s spend our tax dollars on unemployment services, social services, mental health services, or other important programs and services. Or perhaps we save our money or pay off any debts.

    – Just the opinion of one Arlington Co. voter

    • Alanis

      I can’t tell you when a bond referendum was rejected or for that matter when an incumbent democrat lost an election here…..

  • Bride

    It doesn’t look like the railings in the kids area will stop them from jumping off the stairs at any point. Do the kids have to sign a wavier before they go in there or can I be looking forward to a tax hike from all of the lawsuits when little kids break their neck, leg, etc.?

  • Mrmeow

    Render is the right word when talking about pork or fat.

  • Really?

    that’s a hike from CC metro

  • Ricardo

    Why is this an acceptable use of tax funds, but a new baseball stadium would *not* be? Either way you are asking others to subsidize your entertainment.

    • Josh S

      Simple – a baseball stadium would involve massive profits for corporations that don’t have to concern themselves with the public impact and who would not share the risks involved. (Or wouldn’t share them equitably in comparison to the profits.)

      This county-run facility will not redistribute wealth upwards to those who don’t need more.

    • drax

      When you build a stadium where I get to PLAY baseball in it, then you can use taxpayer funds for it.

  • JDS

    This looks fantastic. A bold masterstroke capping off the transformation of Long Bridge Park.

    I’m glad that Arlington County has the cajones to pull of such a massive undertaking, and that the knuckledragging mouthbreathers on ARLNow aren’t at all representative of the county as a whole.

    • Shirlie

      I think you’d be surprised how much of an accurate sample ARLnow readers are. Arlington County has about 200,000 residents… you only need around 370 people to have a representative sample.

      • Tommy

        That is only true if it is a random sample. People who self-select to comment on a site like Arlington are not randomly selected.

        • Shirlie

          Very good point. Response bias!

        • drax

          Also, the sample has nothing to do with population size unless the latter is very small.

          • Bad Stats

            I hope you aren’t responsible for statistical research ……

    • TJLinBallston

      You had us at the first sentence! There was no need to denegrate others.

  • drax

    My first impression was that it was extravagant, and then I remembered going to the local regional parks like Upton Hill, and it doesn’t look so big and bold. The only difference is that it’s indoors (which means it gets used year-round, a huge improvement.)

  • Ted

    What a totally absurd waste of tax dollars. We have GOT to dump Fi$ette next year before the County goes bankrupt paying for massive new sports-entertainment-recreation infrastructure.

    • TJLinBallston

      Not if I can help it. Jay’s been great for Arlington County!

  • Cosmopolitan Resident

    This is so awesome. It will be nice to take yet another step towards being a world-class city. I plan to swim my ass off there every day as soon as it is open.

    All you complainers, um, we already had a vote on this, and you lost. It’s called democracy. Now you have to live with the will of the majority. If you are that upset, you are free to move elsewhere. It’s one of your constitutional rights. Or you can join one of the zillions of Arlington County citizen advisory committees, truly understand the process, and make yourself useful. I pay a huge amount of tax dollars for your roads so you can sit on your fat ass in a car all day. Now you can pay some of yours for my pool, which I will be biking and/or walking to.

    And if you really think that Arlington won’t rent this thing out to swim clubs left right and center until they turn a profit, you don’t understand the sports-industrial complex. Take a look at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Booked solid all hours seven days a week. This ain’t the Artisphere.

    • John Fontain

      “rent this thing out to swim clubs left right and center until they turn a profit”

      They’ve already projected rental income will only cover a small portion of annual operating costs (and remember that the County’s forecasts are generally over-optimistic).

  • Suzy

    Will there be a taxi boat to the new casinos across the river? All I wanna know.

  • Gunner

    That place is going to need a sh*% load of chlorine.

  • Holding my breath

    Anybody care to guess how many hundred dollars an individual membership will cost? Check out that 2004 survey for clues…and keep in mind that was 8 years ago. It won’t be cheap.

    • Josh S

      As I recall, a season pass at Upton Hill a couple of years ago was $70 or thereabouts. So, yeah, it’ll be more than that.

      But of course you will still be able to walk up anytime you want and pay the daily fee…..

  • sam the cat

    an excellent addition for the homeless shelter and artisphere

  • Skeptical

    I wonder if it has occurred to the people who complain about spending this money on “recreation” that there are people whose only exercise and rehabilitative option is swimming. The school pools do not cut it, because no one, in my experience — and I swam in those pools for over twenty years — makes the slightest effort to stop children from running, sliding and jumping into the pool on top of people who have had to use a walker to get to poolside, or leave a crutch and a brace on the benches, or (my favorite) are actually AMPUTEES. I have seen it all. In this place the out of control brats are on one side of the building and the people actually trying to swim for their health on the other. Personally, I think that alone makes it worth while. I might even set foot in a county pool again.

    • John Fontain

      If I were to guess, I think that people object more to the excessive price tag than to the notion of us having such a facility. I know I sound like a broken record, but Fairfax built a similar facility for a fraction of the cost.

      • occasionally a fact

        No — not a similar facility — see comments above and in previous go-rounds on this.

        • John Fontain

          And you do the same – see my post above about the significantly lower cost per square foot for which Cub Run was built. And then try to justify why our project is going to cost so much more.

          • Josh S

            Instead of relying on this sixth grade analysis of yours, why don’t *you* go and figure out the difference by actually delving into a line-item budget comparison. I’m going to guess it might be enlightening….

  • Capt. Obvious

    Yep the 50 and over crowd who are paying for this will def be using the waterslides

  • bobbytiger

    Latest example of our tax money at work.
    Kudos to the County Board, you pulled another one.
    On the other hand, many people voted “Yes” for this stuff.

  • Abe Froman

    Arlington is$50 million in the red you people voted to take on debt for water slides that are no even remotely accessible by the target demographic. This leaves me shaking my head and a little closer to understanding the mindset of the birthers and successionists in Texas. And for that alone I really hate you people who voted for this boondoggle. Its funny that you people voted for this, yet you protest the relatively small outlay for Artisphere at every turn.

    • drax

      Everyone has different priorities. Saying you hate everyone and want to secede is nothing more than a tantrum.

      And not all of “us people” voted for this, nor do we all oppose funding for Artisphere.

      You’re butt-hurt after the election. Go take a month’s vacation from talking about politics. You’ll feel better soon.

      • Abe Froman

        Where did I say I hated everyone or wanted to secede? Reread what I wrote. Frankly this level of fiscal irresponsibility defies logical explanation.

        • Josh S

          Abe, just a hint and perhaps a small opening to inner peace – just because you think it is fiscal irresponsibility doesn’t mean it is.

          • Dave

            Actually, one of the most peaceful things is to believe in your opinions and convictions.

            Being snarky on the internet, however, will lead you to frustration and self doubt.


          • Josh S

            Dave, since you handed it to me on a silver platter….

            You mean ignorance is bliss?

          • Dave

            You think anyone who believes in their convictions is ignorant? LOL.

          • AbeFroman

            I used to look at the gun nut birthers and see a pack of irrational morons, but now that I am living with an electorate that thinks its ok to take on $70M+ in debt for a relatively frivolous aquatic center, going into a fiscal year where the county has schools that are looking at large scale cuts because a $25M+ budget shortfall and further $25M in budget shortfalls that are causing the police and fire departments to make cuts, its making me understand where their seemingly irrational view comes from.

            So Josh, rationalize the $70M that Arlington votes just put on the credit card, since you seem to be telling me that it isn’t irresponsible.

  • MilfMagnet

    I can’t wait to get my wax on and head on down there!!!

  • Homeowner

    Wants vs. Needs. Learn the difference.

    • drax

      Did you lose power in the storm?

  • Caddy

    Carl Spackler: This place got a pool?
    Ty Webb: Pool and a pond… Pond be good for you.

  • DLGlenCarlyn

    that flushing sound you hear are your tax dollars going down the water slide and directly into the sewer ….

  • David A.

    If something like this was going to be successful, the private sector would have built it already.

    I guess that’s what I get for living in the People’s Republic of Arlington.

    • WeiQiang

      Are you aware that $20M to support the aquatic centre is being negotiated to come from the developer in the Pen Place deal?

    • drax

      That’s your problem – your definition of “successful.”

      This project will be successful at providing recreation to people, including those who cannot afford private clubs or a night at Great Wolf Lodge. It will also provide a place for competitive sports, you know, like those pointless unsuccessful non-profit colleges and universities and high schools.

    • TR

      Bow down before the one you serve

      you’re going to get what you deserve

  • Clarendon Cruiser

    So besides paying a huge property tax already, what is the annual user fee going to be?

    How will they control use?

    …and that parking lot is not big enough for a 7-11.

  • Paul

    What an over-the-top extravagance. A measly $3m in private contributions and $20m in “anticipated” contributions from “developers”? (Whatever that “anticipated” means. Pay-to-play “contributions” from developers who want to build this or that?) Even my pokey little Midwestern home town of 15,000 people we managed to support the YMCA with a decent pool. And there was no tax money involved: all private philanthropy and modest membership fees.

    • Josh S

      *scratching head*


      You do realize there is already a Y in Arlington?

  • CP Neighbor

    Simply a massive waste of money. Arlington is getting really good at this.

  • Larchmont

    Nice renderings. My vote remains: YES.

  • Paul (another one)

    This is truly strange and gets stranger all the time.

    If nice pools for use by the public is the goal, why not add a few nice pools spread around Arlington (and maybe in conjunction with neighborhood schools)? This project highlights what the County Board fails to do on many projects: evaluate options, rather than preselecting a single option and making-up justifications for that preselected option. Post-hac rationalizations do not make-up for the lack of preselection studies/reports/analysis COMPARING various options (e.g., building multiple pools at neighborhood schools).

    I have no doubt that the cheerleaders will attach my posting, but none of those attacks will address the issue of lack of comparing real options.

    • John Fontain

      You are completely right about the option of building pools around the county. For the money we are going to spend on this one facility, we could build multiple Cub Runs throughout the County. Or we could build a dozen regular indoor pools.

    • Josh S

      *still scratching*

      Perhaps you just moved here?

      There are already pools attached to the county’s high schools. These pools, as several have pointed out, are heavily used.

      In addition, there is one regional park with an outdoor pool, Upton Hill. However, good luck finding more than about one square foot to hang out in on summer weekends……

      Also, none of these facilities have the same assortment of options that will exist at the new facility.

      So your suggestions are fairly off the mark.

  • Sim City

    Question: will a membership in the ACPS pools be honored for the new facility? Or will it be run by parks and rec and require separate membership? Hopefully, they will be unified. Under the current system, an ACPS pool membership isn’t honored for entry to pools for Parks and Rec programs (such as Masters swimming).

    • Really?

      why would Alexandria City public schools membership honored? double all the fees for non-resident i say!

      • Sim City

        Arlington County Schools, not Alexandria City..

        • Sim City

          Arlington Schools runs the existing pools, and you pay the school system

        • Really?

          APS, not ACPS.

  • dirty biker

    OK, first off, I voted for this thing and will be a delighted user once it’s complete- but the price tag is pretty ridiculous. I sometimes use the Claude Moore Rec Center in Loudoun Cty for swimming before work- it’s a gorgeous, huge indoor pool and fitness center with a big kids slide and river set-up that cost all of $19.5 Mil to build in 2008… how the heck with Long Bridge cost 5x as much? 2x for being spacy, sure, but 5x? Yikes.

    Link to Claude Moor Building costs: http://www.athleticbusiness.com/galleries/project.aspx?id=189

    • Paul

      I wonder how much of the inflated price tag is “brownfields” site mitigation? In my view, Arlington was suckered into accepting this piece of property, as a trade for far more valuable development rights elsewhere in Crystal City.

    • John Fontain

      Don’t expect any intelligent answer to your question. I’ve been asking the same thing (by comparing to Cub Run for months) and nobody has an answer.

      Worse, nobody from the County will step up and answer this important question.

  • Deirdre

    Apres nous, le deluge.

  • So what’s admission?

    Seriously. It’s sure not going to be the $3 bucks an hour of swimming at W-L will cost ya.

    Check out questions 13 and 14 from that 2004 County survey that supporters always drag out justify this project.

    Q14: Percentage of Respondents who would pay various amounts for a single SENIOR or YOUTH pass:

    Monthly pass options given in the survey range from $25 to $45. Annual passes range from $250 to $400.

    And, I should note, these are prices for seniors and youths. For all you adults age 18-64 out there, the ranges are $50-65 monthly, and $425-575 yearly.

    You’d better REALLY enjoy swimming.

  • richarlington

    Great! The kids from Maryland and DC are going to love it. HAHA.


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