End of Summer Update

With the end of summer and the close of our city’s outdoor pools, AAA’s focus shifts to the one indoor pool in Alexandria – Chinquapin. This is most appropriate as Chinquapin is also the focus of many of our activities as we strive to fully fund a 50-meter indoor pool there.

However, this message is about more than just Chinquapin. We hope that you have been checking this website for breaking news during the year, but we thought that this is a good time to bring you up to date:

  • Chinquapin: The City is negotiating the final stages of the design contract for the new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. Hopefully the award will be made this month and the contractor will then schedule public hearings on the project. This is a great time to get even more involved with the new pool. If you have any design concerns, please let us know or come to the public hearings to express your views in person. Check out the website for dates and places for the public hearings. If we can raise the $2.5 million in private sector funds to complement the City funding, the new pool will be built in 2018.
  • Warwick: The design contract for the new pool at Warwick has been awarded by the City to Lukmire. They will use the firm Counsilman-Hunsaker as their aquatics expert. The AAA Board met with the contract administrator for the City and she expects the new pool at Warwick to be open during the summer of 2017. Maybe not at Memorial Day, but closer to the end of June. There will be limited public input possibilities because the new pool is basically a replacement for the existing pool – essentially the same footprint, but with a brand new bathhouse.
  • Old Town: The replacement of the Old Town pool is in the long-range capital improvement plan for 2022 – five years away. That will complete a significant overhaul of the aquatic system in Alexandria. More on that after we finish Warwick and Chinquapin.
  • Del Ray Sprayground: Just FYI – there is a local group heading up an effort to install a sprayground with art features at the site of the old Colasanto pool in Del Ray. The City has allocated $450,000 for the project in 2022, but more funds will be needed to actually put in the sprayground. The local group is headed up by Nancy Lee-Reeves. AAA has informed them that our group supports the idea of a sprayground there, but that our focus right now is on the Chinquapin project and raising the necessary funds for that. We wouldn’t be able to help raise funds for the sprayground at this time. If you want to know more about the sprayground, here is Nancy’s email address: nancyleenews@yahoo.com.
  • Family Splash Nights: AAA supports the Family Splash Nights (formerly the Family Fun Nights) that are put on each month by the City and the Chinquapin Advisory Council. They have been an unqualified success for the past couple of years. Each month a local school is featured (although anyone in the City is welcome to attend) and coordination is done through the school’s PTA and ACPS. There can be as many as 200 to 300 people there on a Friday night! Check the schedule.
  • Coming up: During the entire month of October, Reunions, a shop just off of Quaker Lane in Fairlington Centre Plaza, will donate 5% of its proceeds to Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics. In the past, Reunions has supported ALIVE, Senior Services of Alexandria, Kelly Cares Foundation and the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, and AAA is grateful for their support this year. Reunions, famous for its appealing window displays, will be doing an aquatics-themed display to help promote the new pool at Chinquapin. Please stop by during October to show your support for AAA and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same.
  • Chinquapin Fund-Raising: The clock has started ticking on AAA raising $2.5 million for the indoor 50-meter pool at Chinquapin. If that money is not raised, the pool will be reduced to a 25-meter pool or the project will be deferred. We have many actions going on to raise the funds, but more help is always appreciated. Please contact me at rivers.15wmtida@gmail.com if you think of any prospective private individual donors or possible corporate donors that we can contact. We have come so far – now is the time to push the project to a successful conclusion.

Remember – all of these pool improvements have a common goal – teaching every kid in Alexandria to swim. Let’s fuel the pool and make that happen!

Hope the summer went well and that the fall is even better. See you at Chinquapin!

Bill Rivers
Chair, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics

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