Short History, Big Impact: An AAA Timeline

2008 – 2011
The City of Alexandria closes almost half of the public pools (three out of seven).

2012

October
A group of concerned citizens forms Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics (AAA) with the goal of building a public/private partnership with the City of Alexandria to improve our aquatics facilities.

2013

February
The City Manager includes virtually no funding for pool repairs or improvements in the proposed budget.

May
AAA successfully lobbies the Alexandria City Council to include $23 million in the Capital Improvement Program to build new pools, including a new 50-meter multi-purpose pool at Chinquapin, and to replace existing ones that are in disrepair. AAA pledges to raise $5 million in private sector funds to supplement those dollars.

Warwick Pool, which was slated to be closed because of the increasing need for costly repairs, opens for the summer, thanks to AAA’s advocacy.

2014

February
The City awards a contract to the Hughes Group to conduct a Feasibility Study for a new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin.

The City Manager proposes to close Warwick pool during the summer.

AAA and the Alexandria Parks and Recreation Department host their first “Family Fun Night” at Chinquapin Aquatics Center.

May
AAA successfully lobbies the City Council to open Warwick pool for the summer. This is crucial because the Chinquapin Aquatic Center would be closed all summer for HVAC repairs.

June
Meeting 1 of the Chinquapin 50-Meter Pool Feasibility Study is held at the Minnie Howard campus of T.C. Williams High School. AAA members provide input on the types of programs and design features that are most needed for the new pool.

Chinquapin Aquatic Center closes until October for HVAC repairs.

August
AAA receives its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS.

September
Meeting 2 of the Chinquapin Feasibility Study is held at T.C. Williams High School. AAA members provide input on various schematic design options for the Chinquapin 50-meter pool.

November
“Fuel the Pool” kick-off event to raise awareness of the plan for a new 50-meter pool is held at Chinquapin Aquatic Center with Congressman Jim Moran and keynote speaker and U.S. National Junior Team swimmer Andrew Seliskar.

December
AAA participates in “Giving Tuesday.”

2015

February
Meeting 3 of the Chinquapin Feasibility Study is held at Minnie Howard. The Hughes Group presents a revised cost estimate of $30 million+ for the new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin, up from Fall 2014’s $20 million estimate. AAA members provide important feedback to the consultant group about the new, higher cost estimates.

March
The City proposes a new capital budget that includes $2.3 million for a replacement pool at Warwick in FY2017 and $22 million+ (including $2.5 million in private funds) for the 50-meter multipurpose pool in response to the higher cost estimates. The budget moves all major aquatic funds to new pools at Warwick and Chinquapin. The current Warwick pool will be closed due to structural issues until the new one is constructed.

AAA makes recommendations to City Council and city staff about revising the remaining tasks to be done by the Hughes Group in order to complete the Chinquapin feasibility study and requesting that the consultant group evaluate lower-cost alternatives for the new pool.

AAA and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department are now hosting Family Fun Nights at Chinquapin on a monthly basis, with average attendance ranging from 200 to 330, many of whom are first-time visitors to the Chinquapin Aquatics Center.

April
AAA participates in ACT for Alexandria’s “Spring 2 Action” day of giving.

May
The City revises the Hughes Group contract for the Chinquapin feasibility study to reflect AAA’s recommendations.

City Council approves a budget which includes $2.3 million for a replacement pool at Warwick to be built within 15 months (and completed in the 2017 budget year). Also included in the approved budget is $22 million+ of public and private funds for the new Chinquapin pool for FY 2017 and FY2018.

AAA plays an integral role in bringing the City of Alexandria into USA Swimming Foundation’s Make A Splash Initiative to provide learn-to-swim opportunities to minority children.

AAA participates in Volunteer Alexandria’s “Spring for Alexandria” day of volunteering to help ready Old Town pool for the summer season.

June
AAA successfully negotiates an arrangement with DASH Bus and the City of Alexandria to provide free bus transportation from the neighborhoods surrounding the closed Warwick pool to the Old Town pool during the summer months.

 

 

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