Chairman’s Update – August 13, 2015

Group: There are several things to bring you up to date on, but I want to focus on the primary one right now – you may have seen in the paper or on the Internet – Arlington and Alexandria are exploring whether to share an aquatics facility.

Each jurisdiction will be surveying its residents to see what the interest level would be. The questioning would be focused on a large aquatic facility in Arlington (the Long Bridge Facility) and whether Alexandria residents would travel there to use it in lieu of a new multi-use 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. It would involve Alexandria helping fund the Arlington facility and not building the new pool at Chinquapin.

First, it’s great to have a public discussion like this. It brings good visibility to the entire aquatics situation. And the AAA Board thinks that there could be the potential for shared services with Arlington. But not at the expense of our multi-use 50-meter pool. There is too much of a need for a large pool in Alexandria – if we want all school kids to learn to swim in Alexandria, it would be counterproductive to bus them to a facility outside the City. For the TC swim team – as well as for Bishop Ireton and St. Stephens/St. Agnes, it would not make sense to ride a bus past Chinquapin to practice and have meets outside the City.

We need to make our aquatic facilities as convenient as possible for our residents. It is already difficult enough for West End residents to get to a pool – driving to South Arlington just makes that trip even more impossible.

Again, this is not to say that we can’t share some facilities. The concept is well worth exploring – but not at the expense of our new pool at Chinquapin.

The City has sent out a survey to selected residents asking about the Arlington question. We encourage all members of AAA to indicate that talks may be worthwhile, but not at the expense of our new pool at Chinquapin.

If you haven’t received a survey, you can request one from the City. Here is the info:

If you have any questions or are interested in taking the survey, but did not receive a copy in the mail, contact Dana Wedeles with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities at 703.746.5491or dana.wedeles@alexandriava.gov.

Please make sure our voice is heard by responding to the survey. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks, Bill

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