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Aquatics Forum to Discuss New Wakefield Pools

by ARLnow.com February 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm 1,291 31 Comments

Sketch of the new Wakefield High School aquatics center Sketch of the new Wakefield High School

The new Wakefield High School, slated for completion this summer, will include two new publicly-accessible pools. An upcoming meeting will provide the public an opportunity to learn more about and weigh in on the operation of those pools.

On Tuesday, March 12, from 7:00 to 9:00 at the Arlington Education Center (1426 N. Quincy Street), the Arlington Public Schools Aquatics Committee will hold its annual aquatics forum for residents. The forum will focus on the new Wakefield aquatics center, but will also discuss the existing Washington-Lee and Yorktown pools. A similar meeting in 2009 gave residents a chance to contribute views on the then-new Washington-Lee aquatics center.

Expected to open to the public in September, the new Wakefield aquatics center will consist of an 8-lane lap pool and an instructional/diving pool that can also be used as a 5-lane lap pool.

In an email, APS Aquatics Director Helena Machado told us the following about the new facility.

The Wakefield facility pool currently under construction will contain two swimming pools. The “competition pool” will be 25 yards in length and will have 8 lanes. The “instructional/diving” pool will be 25 meters in length and 33.3 feet wide. This pool’s primary use will be for diving and a wide variety of shallow and deep water instructional activities. This pool’s unique configuration of joining diving and shallow-water instructional space will give us the opportunity to also use the pool as a 5-lane lap pool of either 25 yards or 25 meters in length.

The new Wakefield aquatics facility will be programmed and staffed to provide the best possible service to the aquatics community, and at this time there are no plans to reduce community swim hours. The facility and both of its pools will be used for a wide range of aquatics activities, including swimming instruction, water fitness classes, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and lap swimming. The pool will be staffed to ensure a safe environment for all of its program participants.

The “instructional/diving” pool will be open daily for classes, diving or other special needs (including lap swimming at times) as needed, and as the scheduling and programming warrants. It was designed as a flexible space and not designed to be only a lane pool. As a result, it will be programmed that way which has always been the plan.

Wakefield High School, at 4901 S. Chesterfield Road, is about 6 miles away from the county’s planned $80 million Long Bridge Park aquatics center.

  • Walt

    The format of this forum has been changed to a presentation by Arlington Parks and Rec about their plans for the pool. We can not let just a few groups or citizens discuss their opinions, because then we would need to allow everyone to give their opinions.

    • Nope

      Arlington Parks and Rec ceded responsibility for the pools around two years ago. The pools are run by APS. That’s why this is an APS meeting in an APS facility.

      • drax

        The type of people who do nothing but complain on the internet are the type of people who make up silly conspiracy theories about why they can’t do anything but whine on the internet.

  • PotholeDodger

    “Wakefield High School, at 4901 S. Chesterfield Road, is about 6 miles away from the county’s planned $80 million Long Bridge Park aquatics center.”

    And W&L is 5 miles away. What’s your point?

    • We were proactively answering a question that we thought would be asked in the comments.

      • Tommy

        Then why not include the distance to W&L as well? PotholeD asked a good question that you didn’t answer effectively. What is your point? If the point is that there is no need for a pool at Wakefield High School because of the LBP plans, then the inclusion of info about proximity to W&L would weaken that point, since you haven’t raised the issue regarding a North Arlington school that is actually closer. It raises the question that has been raised (with good reason) many times before, as to why residents in one part of Arlington seem to receive a much greater benefit from the tax revenue (e.g., newer school facilities, sooner) than do others.

        If this is not the point you are making, you should articulate exactly what point you are making and why the Wakefield-LBP distance and not other distances are relevant to your point.

        • Deadite

          They were just trying to point out how this new pool project is only 6 miles from the other new, $80M pool project. Calm down.

          • CW

            No they are just stirring the pot for page views and comments. There are certain topics which are known to create conflict. So they bring them up whenever possible. Even the littlest thing on the streetcar or artisphere gets a story because it will get buzz. I am not saying it is wrong but it is just how it works.

          • Deadite

            It worked on you, didn’t it, CW?

          • CW

            Oh what a great response. Judging from the timestamp it worked on you before it worked on me so nanny nanny boo boo lets all play your kindergarten games.

    • Chris M.

      Pothole, I put my hands in my face when I read that sentence, but I started weeping for all of mankind when I read your’s.

      • Tommy

        I did the same when I saw you didn’t know there is no apostrophe in “yours”.

  • Deadite

    Pools are the new froyo. Publicly funded froyo.

  • JustMe

    We need more new pools? Sick of paying for crap we don’t need. Thanks Arlington and that is why I never vote for an incumbent.

    • CourthouseChris

      And what about all those roads to places YOU NEVER GO TO. What a waste, amirite? Doesn’t that make you so mad?

  • Proxmire

    This is why our “new” high schools cost $200 million.

    • Tommy

      According to the linked article


      you’re off in your cost estimate by about 80%.

      Honestly, I really do not understand why people who are dissatisfied with the *general spending pattern* of Arlington County moved here in the first place and do not move out. I “get” opposition to a specific initiative or perceived boondoggle and believe people SHOULD speak out if they have a good basis for opposing something. But the County leaders are behaving basically the same way as they have since we moved here > 10 years ago and so it should not be a surprise that the leaders spend $ on schools, culture, recreation, and other facilities at levels higher than you would expect, say, in a small town in Kansas. There are many other (cheaper) alternatives here in the metro area for people who don’t want to live in a community like Arl.

      • ARL-VA


      • Bender

        You moved here more than ten years ago? Well I moved here more than twenty years ago, before all of this massive irresponsible spending.

        So, since many of us were here before you, why don’t YOU move the hell out and take all of your high spenders with you?

        • CW

          Sum the taxes you have paid over the past 20 years. Bring them forward into today’s dollars if you want. Then compare to the change in equity in your home since you moved here. Discuss.

          • ACDC Hack

            Discuss this #@## !!!

          • CW

            Looks like you were hitting the bottle hard last night.

      • Toto

        Keep drinking the kool aid Tommy Boy – the cost will be close to $200 million when the school is completed.

    • Southarlington

      So are you saying that only north Arlington schools should be replaced why don’t you complain about the cost of Yorktown and Washington and Lee …Wakefield needed to be repalced and so be it if you do not like it …Schools need to be replaced sorry ….

      • 120

        +1 Yorktown and W&L have new pools. Why not Wakefield?

        In other news, the Wakefield boys basketball team are District Champs and playing the first game of the Regional Tournament tonight at Wakefield against TC Williams at 7:30pm. Why didnt ArlNow find that news worthy? Maybe cause its not Yorktown who Wakefield defeated Thursday 82-42.

  • Boccismo

    Why can’t we spend our tax dollars on something more useful. Like world class bocce courts?

  • Marie Antoinette

    Mon dieu! Why did we just drop $80M on a new aquatics facility??? Egads, and the Folly Trolley is next.

  • FunFunFunFunFun!!!!!!!!!

    They should put in a huge waterside around the whole pool, that would be fuuuunnnnnnn!!!!!! Who agrees?

    • FunFunFunFunFun!!!!!!!!!

      *Water Slide – sorry I got so excited!

  • bemused bystander

    You all need to take a day off. Oh … right …

  • Douglas Parker

    I love how this is discussed right before the ‘difficult’ decision to lay off county workers to close the county budget ‘shortfall’.


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