Arlington, VA

(Updated at noon) Arlington’s Lee Community and Senior Center, at 5722 Lee Highway, is set to close after the end of the year.

The center — the portion of the building operated by the Dept. of Parks and Recreation — was flagged for review in last year’s budget process.

“This facility is aging and in need of significant capital investment,” wrote Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz, at the time. “In addition, existing programming at the Lee Center could be evaluated for movement to other locations or programs.”

Schwartz’s latest budget proposal includes six months of funding to keep the center open through the end of the year, before DPR programs move out.

“As part of the County Manager’s proposed FY 2021 Budget that was unveiled last Tuesday, DPR will no longer have a presence at Lee Community Center starting in January 2021,” parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish tells ARLnow. “DPR will be moving all of its existing programs out of Lee to Langston-Brown, the new Lubber Run and Madison Community Centers.”

The move will not affect the Lee Arts Center in the building, which is proposed to remain funded in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, according to county spokeswoman Erika Moore.

“The County has not determined next steps for the building and the Lee Arts Center,” Kalish said.

The following specific changes are planned for programming currently at the Lee Highway facility, per DPR:

  • “Lee 55+ programs will be relocated to Lubber Run, Langston-Brown and Madison Community Centers. 55+ programs will begin transitioning out of Lee in fall 2020; all programs will be moved by the end of December 2020.”
  • “The Lee Cooperative Playgroup will finish its programming next December and will reopen in nearby Langston-Brown in January 2021. The Langston-Brown playgroup area will be refreshed and better outfitted to meet the needs of the program. Current families enrolled in the Lee playgroup will have first priority for playgroup space at Langston-Brown and will be able to tour the new space in November 2020.”
  • “Enjoy Arlington classes will be relocated by summer 2020 to other locations.”

The Langston-Brown Community Center is located a mile east of the Lee Community Center.

“While we understand change is difficult, we believe that this change will allow us to provide the best programs and services we can to our community,” Kalish said of the community center’s closure. “Over the course of the year we will be connecting with community stakeholders about the move so that prior to December, everyone knows about the change and will know where to go to get the programs and services they value.”

Photo via Arlington County

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