Strong Public Support for 50 Meter Pool at Chinquapin
Recent survey shows over 60% of Alexandria residents support a new 50 meter pool at Chinquapin Recreation Center. According to a recent public opinion survey commissioned by Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics (AAA), roughly two-thirds of Alexandria residents favor the City of Alexandria investing $20 million on a new 50 meter pool at Chinquapin Rec Center.
In particular, Alexandrians believe a new pool is needed to expand access for local children to learn to swim and to allow residents of all ages to use the facility for exercise, rehabilitation and recreational uses.
Local residents also appreciate the economic benefits a new facility will bring to the community. With a state of the art 50 meter pool in Alexandria, local swim teams finally will have the ability to host meets – ranging from events for regional youth swim clubs to local high school teams to adult Masters swim teams from the East Coast. By attracting more visitors to Alexandria, restaurants, hotels and other local businesses will see an influx of customers.
“The survey results show that the Alexandria community is committed to improving our aquatics infrastructure,” said Bill Rivers, chair of Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics’ Board of Directors. “I am encouraged to see that local residents acknowledge the importance of creating an opportunity for every child in Alexandria to learn to swim and the benefits a new facility will provide to our local economy.”
In 2016 Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics signed a formal partnership agreement with the City to help coordinate the public-private efforts to improve Alexandria’s aquatics facilities. A specific area of focus is the design and construction of a new pool at Chinquapin. With Alexandria’s City Council set to approve the FY 2018 budget in early May, AAA wants the 50 meter pool fully funded so construction can begin in 2018.
Alexandrians want to see youth swim lessons incorporated into the educational curriculum – something that is not feasible given the programming constraints at the existing aquatics facilities. If every school age child in Alexandria is to have the opportunity to learn to swim, more pool space is required.
“This survey demonstrates that Alexandria strongly supports our local leaders committing to the construction of a new pool at Chinquapin,” said Carolyn Griglione, a member of the AAA Board of Directors. “I know there are many competing priorities in the upcoming budget but a new pool at Chinquapin is an investment in a healthy and safe future. Approximately 7,500 children in Alexandria do not know how to swim, and we need to ensure that our community affords everyone an opportunity to learn a skill that can save their life.”
Additionally, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics has commissioned a separate study to identify ways the private sector can contribute to the construction and ongoing operation of a 50 meter pool at Chinquapin. A key goal of that study is to ensure the facility has a steady and sustainable revenue stream, thus becoming less reliant on taxpayer dollars.
Specific findings from the March 22-March 24 survey include:
• 84% support giving more kids the opportunity to learn to swim
• 77% believe swim lessons must be part of the educational curriculum in Alexandria
• 77% believe a new pool will generate revenue for the city, economic benefits for restaurants/hotels
• 75% want to see more programs at local pools such as water aerobics and recreational lap swimming.
The study was sponsored by Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics and conducted by Hudson Pacific. The results are based on a survey of 300 adults who indicated they reside within the city limits of the City of Alexandria. Surveys were conducted in English between March 22 and 24, 2017 and averaged 7 minutes in length.
Fieldwork was conducted via telephone by Survey Sampling, Inc. using a random-digit dial sampling methodology. The survey was designed to be representative of the City of Alexandria adult population by gender, age, education and race. The targets were based on 2015 population estimates from the United States Census Bureau.