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The rectangular synthetic field at Barcroft Park is set for a revamp, including turf replacement, beginning in October.
Other repair work on synthetic field #5 includes replacing the infill and if necessary, some adjustments to the base material of the field, landscape architect Aaron Wohler said. The field is located at 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive.
The field needs its turf to be replaced because the current turf has outlived its shelf life, Wohler said. He added that the project is not set to change the turf’s color or layout. No other changes are scheduled for the field at this time.
After starting this fall, construction at the field is set to finish by March next year, according to the project’s website.
This replacement project will cost about $325,000 and its funding comes from the county’s $12 million Synthetic Turf Program, Wohler said.
Despite the cost, the county still sees the benefit of artificial turf, which requires less day to day maintenance than a natural grass field and can be used extensively without killing the grass. Other benefits include better drainage and safety, with concussion-reducing shock absorption.
Arlington is “strategically moving forward with synthetic turf fields,” notes a county website.
This lighted, synthetic field is one of the six community athletic fields in the county where users of all ages can use it without a permit. Fields like this one have the most use on an individual basis among all types of fields, with each one getting on average around 2,100 hours of play every year, according to the county’s Public Spaces Master Plan.
The George Washington University baseball team christened its new $3 million field at Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) last Friday. The team might have lost the first game at its newly-renovated home field, but it was a victory for a Division I athletic program that finally has a Division I-caliber field.
“It was a recreational field before,” coach Steve Mrowka told the GW Hatchet. “You couldn’t really have a solid game there.”
Now, the field has artificial turf, full-sized dugouts and more standard playing dimensions. Mrowka told the Hatchet that he believes the field will improve the team’s play and help with recruitment.
The Arlington County Board approved the plan to renovate Barcroft Field #6 in September, in an agreement with GW that called for the school to pay for all renovations and to split maintenance costs 25/75 with the county. While GW is given priority on the field for games and practices, it is open for use by the community at other times (about 75 percent of playable hours).
Though the team is playing there now, work on the field is not complete. Construction crews are still busy adding features like 500-person seating capacity seating, a new concessions area, permanent dugouts and a reconfigured parking lot.
GW will be playing home games against Shepherd at the field on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 1:00 p.m. See a full game schedule on the GW Baseball website.
Last night the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a plan that will provide at least $3 million for major improvements to the ball field, paid in full by George Washington University. GWU’s baseball team has used Barcroft as its home field since 1992, and has long desired a venue more on par with other universities.
Under a new 20-year agreement, GWU will pay all upgrade costs while splitting annual maintenance costs 25/75 with Arlington County. The maintenance split reflects the agreement that GWU will have access to the field for 25 percent of available hours while the county will be able to provide public access to the field for 75 percent of available hours.
County staff estimated Arlington’s yearly share of maintenance and repair costs for the field at between $25,000 to $40,000.
“GWU’s contribution will make Field #6 the best baseball field in Arlington, while the community will have even more use of the field than it has now,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “This is a great example of how local government can leverage public-private partnerships to bring real benefits to the community.”
A major component of the upgrade is a new artificial turf field — a first for an Arlington County baseball diamond. Other planned upgrades include new fencing, dugouts, bullpens, batting cages and stadium seating, as well as a new entry plaza, press box, concession area, and parking lot layout. Possible future changes include new restrooms, locker rooms and a new scoreboard. There are no planned changes to the field’s lighting system.
“This is a great opportunity to provide a modern facility for both GW student-athletes and the youth of northern Virginia, and we thank Arlington County for its support of this transformational project,” said GWU athletic director Patrick Nero.
GWU is hoping to upgrade the field in time for the spring baseball season. Construction is expected to begin next month, with the field reopening in March 2012.
What makes Barcroft a special neighborhood in Arlington?
Quietly tucked away near some major Arlington crossroads (Route 50, George Mason and Columbia Pike), Barcroft is a hidden neighborhood convenient for commuters but with a small community feel.
In the heart is the Barcroft Community Center, a historic landmark constructed in 1908 originally as a church and sold to the Barcroft School and Civic League in 1914. The Barcroft School and Civic League website states, “Today it is Arlington’s last remaining one-room schoolhouse — a living tribute to the sleepy, rural place that Arlington once was. Over a century later, it remains the heart of the community — its ownership shared by the members of the BSCL, it is where the neighborhood meets to celebrate, learn, and conduct business.”
Known for being a friendly neighborhood, Barcroft sponsors a number of community events including: “its annual Fourth of July Parade and picnic to a Holiday program with a visit from Santa Claus, meet-the-candidates nights before elections, spaghetti dinners, Easter egg hunts and National Night Out ice cream socials. These events retain the strong spirit of community first developed here over 100 years ago. (source: www.bscl.org).” Most of the homes in this neighborhood were built in the 1930-1970 era with some new home builds recently, including condominiums and apartments.
Also nearby is Columbia Pike, with many shops and restaurants and the newly-built Centro anchored by a Harris Teeter, and Route 50 with many more amenities. On the eastern border of Barcroft is the wonderful Alcova Heights Park — a 13-acre park that includes a playground, baseball field, basketball court and sand volleyball court. On the southwestern border is the beautiful Four Mile Run Park which runs parallel to the Four Mile Run stream and connects to the W&OD Trail.
Interestingly, the name does not derive from its length which is actually 9.4 miles long and takes you all the way to the Shirlington business district.
Connect with neighborhood experts Susan Sarcone and Mitchell Schneider to learn more about Barcroft and other surrounding areas!
Important Barcroft (and Nearby) Neighborhood Resources
- Barcroft School and Civic League
- Four Mile Run Park
- Alcova Heights Park
- Barcroft Elementary School
- Crystal Thai Restaurant
- Cafe Sazon
- Atlacatl Restaurant
- Orange Theory Fitness
- Columbia Pike Partnership
- Arlington’s Car Free Diet
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Arlington County is asking residents how and when they use athletic fields.
The County’s Public Spaces Master Plan, adopted in April 2019, calls for a public survey every five years to garner feedback to determine how and when Arlingtonians use the available athletic fields.
The collected data will be used to update the permit process, availability of fields, and who has access when.
“We have a finite amount of park spaces,” Jerry Solomon, Community Engagement Manager for the Department of Parks and Recreation, writes to ARLnow in an email. “Our goal is to ensure we are using them as efficiently and effectively as possible. We need to determine if we are offering field spaces at times that people can best access them.”
Fields for adult soccer leagues, for example, are most needed outside of typical working hours. Baseball diamonds for Little League should be accessible when the players are, like on weekends or after school.
This survey will help make sure this is the case, plus provide additional data that may not be as self-explanatory.
The survey specifically asks about activity start and end times for different age groups as well, like if kids 9 and youngers should end their field use prior sundown on weekdays and who should have access to lighted fields.
In total, Arlington has 96 athletic fields — a mix of rectangular fields (35), diamond fields (42), and a combination of the two (19). That can be further broken down into lighted (37) and not lighted fields (59) as well as natural grass (80) and synthetic turf fields (16).
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that the fields that have the most use on an individual basis are the lighted, synthetic turf fields. On average, each one of those fields gets more than 2,100 hours of play per year. This is compared to an average of 700 hours per non-lighted, natural grass field.
For years, which fields got lights has been a source of community contention.
Athletic field use in Arlington is often not a free-for-all or on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nearly all of the fields are either only accessible to permit holders or priority is given to permit holders.
Only six of the 96 athletic fields in Arlington are available as drop-in fields, or “community fields.” Even those, though, can be reserved for scheduled programs or practices.
That has drawn the ire of some residents, like those who live near Pentagon City and want to see one or both of the softball diamonds at Virginia Highlands Park opened up for community use.
There’s even a tiered priority system for the allocation of permits, which was first recommended in 2016 due to an “inequity” that existed in how fields were allocated.
Arlington Public Schools are given first priority, then county-organized non-profit youth sport leagues, then adult leagues, then for-profit sports leagues, and, finally, individual rentals or other organizations.
All of this, plus Arlington’s growing population, is resulting in heavy use and demand for athletic fields. According to the PSMP, the county could need an additional 11 rectangular and 2 diamond fields by 2035 to maintain the current levels of use and access.
The hope is that the survey and public feedback will allow for better, more efficient, and more fair use of the limited field space.
This survey will be open until the end of the month, says Solomon, at which point DPR will review and report findings to the Public Spaces Master Plan Implementation Committee in the spring.
There could be more opportunities to provide feedback come the spring and summer, Solomon noted.
Arlington residents can now register to receive a free tree for their homes, thanks to Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s annual giveaway of 400 native trees.
The available trees are termed “whips” and come in two-gallon containers ranging from 2-4 feet in size, according to the organizer’s website. Registration for the annual program opened Tuesday.
“This annual program is very popular and has yielded many beautiful trees and benefited our community,” organizers wrote.
There will be two tree distribution days this year, led by county landscaping staff and members of the Arlington/Alexandria Tree Stewards organization.
The first tree pickup will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Barcroft Baseball Field parking lot (4208 S. Four Mile Run Drive).
The second pickup will be on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4-6 p.m. at the Reed-Westover Baseball Field parking lot (5829 18th Street N.)
One tree is allowed per residential property. Those who live in a multi-family property, like an apartment complex, are asked to email the Tree Stewards for more information on obtaining trees.
Photo via TreeStewards/Facebook
Arlington’s lengthy, detailed public space planning documents might seem dry and technical at first glance, but an impending update to those plans has sparked a bitter fight in the county.
Though the sparring centers largely around reams of statistics and data, the debate cuts to the heart of a key question for leaders in the 26-square-mile county: how should Arlington divvy up its limited amount of public land?
The newly revised “Public Spaces Master Plan” is designed to provide lots of answers to that question for Arlington officials. Last updated in 2005, the document sketches out the county’s goals for building and maintaining its parks, fields, trails and other open spaces.
Since 2015, community leaders have been working to update the document in a process commonly known as “POPS,” or “A Plan for Our Places and Spaces.” A county advisory committee has been sharpening the document’s specifics for months, and the County Board now looks ready to schedule public hearings and a vote on the plan’s update this weekend.
But critics charge that the plan is fatally flawed, and some have spent more than a year working to build opposition to one of its key elements. Chiefly, they’re concerned that the new document calls for the county to set aside more space for athletic fields than it actually needs, which could gobble up room for other important facilities (namely, schools and parks).
Opponents of the plan also argue that county staff have been deceptive in providing data to guide this process, undermining many of the master plan’s conclusions.
Others close to the process, especially those representing parks or sports groups, feel those concerns are misguided, and insist that the new plan will provide an adequate roadmap for meeting the growing demand for field space in Arlington. But, with the issue coming to a head in the coming weeks, the plan’s critics are hopeful that the Board will take their concerns seriously and act accordingly.
“The county is going to use this document to make decisions for the next 20 years,” said Peter Rousselot, a leader with the “Parks for Everyone” advocacy group and a regular ARLnow columnist. “But through it all, we’ve had the sense that [county staff] weren’t an honest broker on this. And that matters, when this stuff might someday be taken as gospel, and staff might point to it and say ‘the County Board voted 5-0 to approve this.'”
Both critics and supporters of the plan acknowledge that the latest draft of the document has gone through sufficient changes since it was released last fall to be a lot more appealing to all involved. Yet emotions around the issue are, undoubtedly, still running high.
“There have been lots of accusations against county staff, and we’ve met with [the plan’s critics] several times,” said Caroline Haynes, a co-chair of the POPS advisory group and the chair of the county’s Parks and Recreation Commission. “But some people we’re just never going to please. We’re just not.”
How many more fields does Arlington need?
Rousselot, who has long been active in county politics, says he became interested in the issue as other local activists began to bring it to his attention. Kari Klaus was a key driver of those early efforts, based on her previous work examining the county’s plans for parks in Aurora Highlands, and the pair worked with some other concerned community members to found Parks for Everyone.
Chiefly, Klaus and Rousselot became concerned about the plan because of one, highly technical, piece of data contained within the document: something called “population-based level of service” analysis.
In essence, the calculation involves county staff looking at Arlington’s population data, national averages and other “peer localities” to see how many parks and fields Arlington needs to serve its residents. In this case, staff judged Arlington’s peers to be other suburbs of major cities including: Alexandria; Bellevue, Washington; Berkeley, California; and St. Paul, Minnesota.
Using that data, staff came up with ratios designed to guide how many facilities the county needs to add going forward.
For instance, Arlington currently has 53 rectangular, athletic fields — the plan’s estimates suggest the county should be striving to have closer to 61 instead. Similarly, the document shows that Arlington has 43 “diamond” baseball fields, while 54 might be a better number to serve its current population. And both of those projections will only grow as the county swells with new residents over time.
Those estimates disturbed and frustrated Rousselot and Klaus. They say they couldn’t understand how the county landed on those figures, instead of relying on current data showing how often people use the county’s existing fields.
Several people interested in the matter filed a series of public records requests to get more county data, and became increasingly frustrated that staff would only release limited information about their process for calculating those numbers.
But, from what they did find, Rousselot and his fellow critics became convinced that the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation wasn’t following the industry’s best practices for coming up with “level of service” calculations. They argue that the number of people actively seeking to use county fields would provide a much better baseline to work off of than simply the number of people living in the county in total.
“DPR had lots of data on supply and demand, but staff didn’t use it to inform themselves about what this population-based LOS number ought to be,” Rousselot said. “And it was so hard to even get them to acknowledge they had this data.”
In response to the group’s extensive criticisms, County Manager Mark Schwartz released a lengthy statement defending staff’s methods. Chiefly, he argued that “population is an easily understood way to project needs and is used regularly by the county and [the school system] to anticipate future capacity.”
Haynes echoed that point, stressing that all of the advisory committee’s work suggested that the population-based calculations were the “most straightforward method” possible for staff to use. Otherwise, she says the county would have to rely on a cascading series of assumptions about how much field use would increase (or decrease) over time, which might prove increasingly inaccurate as time goes by.
Rousselot, however, argues that such a standard for calculating field needs is “deceptively simple,” and doesn’t allow much room for nuance as decisions get made in the future.
“There is something quite appealing at first blush about how simple it is,” Rousselot said. “But the way history tells us DPR operates is that these numbers become much more gospel like than they deserve.”
Is demand real, or deceptive?
But Haynes vigorously defended county staff’s management of the process, and their willingness to re-examine their own methods. She said the advisory committee has broadly been “very pleased” with the county throughout the process, which she finds slightly “incredible” given that they’ve been working together for the better part of four years now.
And she believes that the open space plan’s critics miss an obvious point about the county’s current conditions — field space is already at a premium for sports teams and casual users alike.
“Arlington is growing and we need more of everything,” Haynes said. “Sometimes we have four to six teams playing on any given field.”
But Rousselot and the plan’s critics charge that field demand can be deceptive — he sees the county’s management of its fields as the root cause of any problems. Many field reservations are managed by volunteers, not county staff, which he feels has led to plenty of inefficiencies. Other fields are unusable because they haven’t been maintained well, which Rousselot chalks up to the county’s shrinking maintenance budget.
“It’s left a lot of sports teams angry and under the impression that they can’t get fields,” Rousselot said. “But the process of scheduling and maintenance has been, to put it diplomatically, a mess.”
Haynes argues it would not be “an efficient use of county resources” to task staff with managing fields, and says the county has done some work with its Sports Commission to encourage better communication with sports leagues to determine who needs certain fields and when.
And Schwartz pointed out in his statement that the county is currently reviewing its processes on both those fronts.
“We do not have it figured out yet — but we are doing better maintenance, better scheduling, and creating more opportunities for the fields to be available for casual use when not scheduled,” Schwartz wrote.
What happens next?
Fundamentally, Haynes believes that the county has been responsive to all of the concerns Rousselot and others have raised.
And she doesn’t want the concerns of a few critics derail the passage of a plan that’s been years in the making, particularly when many others support it. A petition backed by the Arlington Sports Foundation supporting the plan now has nearly 1,300 signatories.
“What we’ve heard is a very small group of people who have been very vocal about it,” Haynes said. “There is so much good stuff in here, but we’ve really gotten sidetracked on just a few issues.”
But Rousselot and his allies believe they’ve convinced enough people around the county of their point of view that they are more than just lone voices in the wilderness.
Most notably, the Arlington Civic Federation, one of the county’s oldest and most revered civic organizations, threw its support behind their efforts. Rousselot and other critics presented their case at one of the group’s meetings, and after some follow-up study of the plan, the federation’s members voted 66-17-3 to issue a resolution broadly echoing Rousselot’s critiques of the plan.
Specifically, the group urged the county to strip those level of service recommendations from the plan, arguing that “available data appears to demonstrate that the LOS for athletic fields has been significantly overstated.”
“The fact that they have come out so overwhelmingly in favor of this makes it pretty hard for people trying to argue that it’s four or five malcontents raising these issues,” Rousselot said.
Rousselot credited the group’s intervention for spurring some changes to the plan, and even Haynes would agree that staff and her committee has been able to make some tweaks to the document in recent weeks.
Specifically, she said they’ve sought to stress that “this is a high level planning document, it’s not proscriptive,” particularly when it comes to how closely the county should follow its recommendations about how many fields it needs to build. As Rousselot puts it, the revised plan “softens the Moses tablet-like” quality of those recommendations, making it a bit less likely that officials hew quite so closely to those numbers in the future.
Still, the document’s critics would rather see the population-based level of service recommendations removed entirely before the plan is passed, but that looks increasingly unlikely.
Then-County Board Chair Katie Cristol wrote an October letter to Klaus and Rousselot saying that four of the Board’s five members supported leaving that section of the plan in place. She said Board members felt the metric was “the more appropriate one for our community, where different stakeholders have widely divergent assumptions about future [field] utilization.”
The lone Board member to support revisions to that part of the plan was John Vihstadt, Cristol wrote, but the independent lost his seat to Democrat Matt de Ferranti last fall.
Accordingly, it would seem the current plan has enough support to pass in its current form sometime this spring. The Planning Commission voted last night (Wednesday) to recommend that the County Board advertise public hearings on the plan at its meeting Saturday — that would set the stage for a final vote on the plan in April.
With the process nearing its conclusion, Rousselot is encouraged that Parks for Everyone achieved some of its goals. But he’s still holding out hope that leaders will just go a few steps further in tweaking the plan’s prescriptions.
“Assuming the Board adopts at least some of the changes we recommended, then we’ll be better off than we would’ve been if we hadn’t raised the issue,” Rousselot said. “How much better off will depend on what happens next.”
Photo via Arlington County
County officials haven’t given up hope that they might someday find corporate sponsors for the Long Bridge Park aquatics center, in order to offset some of the costs of the controversial project.
With work on the $60 million facility formally kicking off this week, the county is also moving closer to hiring a marketing firm to help it recruit potential partners for Long Bridge. Officials hope to start soliciting bids from companies before the year is out.
The project has had its fair share of financial challenges over the years, with substantial cost overruns prompting the County Board to postpone its construction in 2014. All throughout the process, however, county staff have kept hope alive that a naming rights sponsor or some other corporate partner might step in to help make the pool a bit more affordable for Arlington taxpayers moving forward.
The county initially hoped that the D.C. region might win the 2024 Summer Olympics, attracting plenty of private sector cash for Long Bridge in the process. That bid fizzled, and the Board subsequently oversaw a substantial rollback in the project’s scope and cost, yet officials have remained hopeful that businesses or even local universities might step up to cover some of the pool’s ongoing operating costs.
County Manager Mark Schwartz conceded in a July 10 work session that part of the reason the county’s struggled so much on this question is that this “is not an area where we have a lot of expertise or experience.”
The county does have a deal with Marymount University backing one field at Long Bridge Park itself, and another sponsorship arrangement with George Washington University at Barcroft Park, where the university’s baseball team plays its home games. But Lisa Grandle, the county’s park development division chief, points out that the county generally “does not have any major sponsorships for Long Bridge or any of our other parks.”
She says the county has spoken “with a variety of potential sponsors and partners” for Long Bridge over the years, and even previously worked with a consultant to find some takers for the pool. Yet with all of that effort for naught, she says the county feels putting out a request for proposals for “on-call partnership and consulting services” is the surest way to finally manage a breakthrough.
The exact form of a corporate sponsorship for Long Bridge remains up in the air until the county can find a marketing partner, but Grandle did say the county has some general ideas.
“In general, sponsorships take the form of cash contributions from corporate entities in exchange for ‘entitlements’ from the county, such as naming rights, identification on signage, acknowledgement on staff uniforms or publications such as class catalogs, use of a facility for a ‘corporate day,’ or discount entrance passes,” Grandle wrote in an email. “The cash contributions for sponsorships can be structured in various ways, such as a large lump sum payment up front with smaller payments agreed upon over a period of time or a small lump sum up front payment with larger payments over agreed upon period of time.”
Grandle added that any consultant would initially focus on finding sponsors for Long Bridge, but the firm could also seek partners for other county parks in the future.
While there’s no guarantee that this new effort will succeed at Long Bridge, Schwartz expects that the mere fact that the county’s actually started work on the project after years of debate has to help matters.
“It makes it easier for us to go to prospective sponsors and saying, ‘Here’s the plan, here’s the actual timeline,'” said Schwartz, noting that the facility is currently set to open in 2021. “The process had been bit inchoate and now, to the extent we’re ever optimistic, we’re slightly more optimistic.”
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!
Where is it?
Douglas Park is a large neighborhood in South Arlington bordered by Columbia Pike to the north, S. Four Mile Run Drive to the west, S. Walter Reed Drive to the east, and ends at the intersection of each of those roads to the south.
It hosts multiple parks and Randolph Elementary School, although households in the southern portion of the neighborhood go to Hoffman-Boston Elementary and students in the northwestern corner are districted to Barcroft Elementary School. The majority of households are districted to Jefferson Middle School, but the Barcroft Elementary households in the northwest corner end up at Kenmore Middle School. Every household in Douglas Park ends up at Wakefield High School.
Douglas Park is a blended neighborhood of mostly residential housing, ranging from affordable multi-family buildings for rent or purchase along the northern and eastern borders, a few pockets of town homes built in the 1960s and again in the 2000s, but mostly single family homes build in the early/mid-1900s many of which are cape cods and bungalows that are popular targets for renovations and expansions.
Anne and her husband, Horacio, met in Colombia (the country) and moved to Shirlington in early 2015 before buying their home, where they’re raising two young children. They weren’t in a hurry to move, but found a home with potential on a street they loved, and bought their Douglas Park Cape Cod in late 2015.
They spent about three months renovating the kitchen, refinishing floors, and giving the house new life while trying to maintain the original charm as much as possible. Just after moving in, they dealt with some pipe issues that required them to tear up a lot of their front yard, but turned a bad situation into a positive by introducing some beautiful landscaping and hardscaping out front.
What do you love about Douglas Park?
We’re part of an incredible community here. Being a bi-lingual family, we love living in a bi-lingual neighborhood. An added plus that we hadn’t thought to be so important before experiencing it, is the cross-generational interaction. The young families who just moved in hang out with neighbors who have lived here for decades.
It’s also very front-yard focused, so in the evenings and weekends, you’ll see most of the neighborhood out front, spending time together, not tucked away privately in their backyards (note: this was highlighted in the Claremont Neighborhood Spotlight and a trend in many South Arlington neighborhoods). It’s a beautiful, engaged, diverse community.
We also have great access to public transportation, despite not being near a Metro station. Whenever I can, I take the bus to work in Courthouse. Also, despite not having sidewalks, the streets are wide enough for kids to safely ride bikes and walk without being in danger.
The work doubled the space for gymnastics into a second room by converting the center’s gym, while adding new equipment to both rooms. Girls teams now have more space in which to practice, while county parks staff said it could help spur more registrations for boys teams.
Staff said the project was carried out due to “overwhelming demand from Arlington residents” for more space for gymnastics.
The existing gymnastics area also received a revamp, as well as the existing women’s locker room. Staff lockers were installed nearby, while the building got a new roof and had three HVAC systems replaced.
County staff and other officials will celebrate the completion of the project on Wednesday, September 13 from 5-6 p.m. at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The project had a total budget of $3.54 million, paid for by Pay As You Go Capital funds and bonds approved in the 2016 referendum. The County Board approved a construction contract last December worth just over $1.7 million.
Nearby Tucker Field at Barcroft Park is also set for upgrades in the coming years after the Arlington County Board approved a 10-year extension to its partnership with George Washington University, which hosts baseball games at the field.
GW will fully fund the construction of a new clubhouse as well as indoor and outdoor batting cages, which are also available for community use. Earlier this year, the university received an anonymous $2 million gift to fund the new clubhouse. GW also contributes funding each year for the field’s ongoing maintenance and repairs.
More improvements are coming to Tucker Field at Barcroft Park after the Arlington County Board approved a 10-year extension to its partnership with George Washington University.
Under the agreement, unanimously approved by the Board at its meeting Tuesday, GW will fully fund the construction of a new clubhouse as well as indoor and outdoor batting cages, which are also available for community use. Earlier this year, the university received an anonymous $2 million gift to fund the new clubhouse.
GW’s baseball team has played home games at Tucker Field in the park at 4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive since 1992. It also contributes funding each year for the field’s ongoing maintenance and repairs.
“This public-private partnership with GW is a good deal for county taxpayers, for baseball and softball in Arlington, and for GW,” said County Board chair Jay Fisette in a statement. “The university’s home field has been vastly improved, and the community has access to a top-quality field. These new amenities will make Tucker Field even more useful — and fun — for all who play there.”
The two parties last signed an agreement in 2011, with GW upgrading the field and nearby facilities in time for the following year. It has invested more than $3 million in upgrades, including the county’s first synthetic turf diamond field, expanded seating, covered dugouts, bullpens, batting cages, expanded parking and more.
The field also hosts five camps in five weeks each summer, as well as tournaments for the county’s All-Star Babe Ruth League and the 2015 Atlantic-10 Conference baseball tournament.
“Our partnership with Arlington County has been mutually beneficial, and we are excited to extend our agreement with the county,” GW athletic director Patrick Nero said in a statement. “It has allowed us to provide an excellent home ballpark for our student-athletes, a ballpark that will be even better with the new clubhouse and enclosed batting cages. We look forward to hosting the Atlantic-10 Championship at Tucker Field in 2018. At the same time, Arlington county youth have the opportunity to play at a premier venue as they learn and grow through sports.”