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County Board Approves $1.3 Million ‘Universal Design’ Playground, Volleyball Court

by ARLnow.com — January 29, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

The Arlington County Board on Thursday approved major renovations to a playground and volleyball court at Quincy Park.

The new playground will incorporate “universal design” to make it fun and accessible for users of all ages and physical abilities. Features include swings, picnic tables, a slide and a “climbing tree.”

The revamped sand volleyball court will be located adjacent to the playground and is being created with adult after-work sports leagues in mind.

The total cost expected design and construction of the project is $1.275 million. Construction is expected to start this spring and wrap up this fall.

Quincy Park is located between Arlington Central Library and Washington-Lee High School, near the Virginia Square Metros station.

From an Arlington County press release:

The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for $1,085,727 to overhaul the heavily used playground and sand volleyball court at Quincy Park.

The playground will be the first in Arlington to incorporate state-of-the-art Universal Design elements to make it accessible for people of all ages and physical abilities. All Arlington County parks are accessible and meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, but this playground was specially designed to accommodate and engage the entire community.

“This is a truly innovative project that will make Quincy Park a very special place, accessible, welcoming and fun for people of all ages and abilities,” said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey.

Universal Design seeks to appeal aesthetically and functionally to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability.

The new playground will have a wheelchair ramp to reach the top of the slide area, instead of stairs. Its swings will hold heavier bodies, so that parents and caregivers can swing alongside children.

The Universal Design elements mean people of varying ages and abilities can climb, swing, play and enjoy this space together. Softer surfaces will make the play space safer. The design includes quieter areas for those with sensory sensitivities. Fencing and gates are all integrated into the landscaping to provide green space and a calming environment. A pavilion area will shade picnic tables, and there will be other benches and tables for seating throughout. There are also water fountains with bottle fillers. The park’s features will be explained in signs throughout the park.

Beginning in July 2014, County staff conducted extensive public outreach for this project, including four public meetings and two on-line surveys. County residents participating in the public meetings included neighbors of the park, parents of children and adults with disabilities and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association. Staff solicited feedback from organizations such as the Special Education PTA, the Community Services Board for Developmental Disabilities and the Arc of Northern Virginia. County staff also consulted with a designer who specializes in universal playground design. To facilitate the design for the sand volleyball court, County staff consulted with local players, teams and groups such as Orange Line Sports and United Social Sports.

A final concept was presented at a May 2015 public hearing that had the consensus approval of all involved groups.

The Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to award the contract to Bennett Group, the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in the competitive bidding process. The overall project funding for this Parks Maintenance Capital project of $1,275,000.00 includes design, soft costs and construction. Funding is provided by FY 2012 closeout funds ($100,000) and FY 2013 park bond funds ($1,175,000).

Construction is set to begin early spring of 2016 and be completed by the fall.

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