Holiday Greetings to our AAA members!!

With the days winding down in 2015, I wanted to send the best wishes of the AAA Board for a very happy holiday to all of our members, as well as our thanks for your support over the past year.

I’d also like you to think back to what you and AAA have accomplished this year. Here’s a partial list of things that you can be proud of:

  • Day of Giving: We set a goal of $3,000 for the December 1st Day of Giving. And met it. We collected just over $3,000. Thanks to everyone who contributed. You’re helping us get closer and closer to our goals.
  • Costs for the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin: When we started the year, we received the bad news that the cost estimate had gone from $20 million to $30 million, making the likelihood of a pool rather dim. However, AAA sent a letter to the City suggesting ways to reduce costs and the City took it to heart. They went back to the consultant and worked with them to come up with a new way of looking at the pool construction. While final figures won’t be released until next month, it now looks like the new Chinquapin pool can be built within the City’s budget of $22.5 million ($20 million from the City and $2.5 million in private sector funds). This is very significant given all of the attention now on large dollar budget items. AAA, along with City staff, deserve a big “Well Done” for continuing to press for a reasonable cost pool. If things continue on schedule, design work will start later in calendar year 2016, with construction in the 2018 timeframe.
  • New Director at Chinquapin: The current director will be leaving at the end of this month for some well deserved retirement time. We are fortunate to have our aquatics contact with the City – Laura Durham – taking over as the acting Director. Meanwhile, AAA has been working with the City to develop a position description that ensures that the new hire will have a serious aquatics background and will be on board to help the transition to the new pool. We have provided some specific criteria for the position that focuses on starting up and operating a 50-meter pool. This is another good example of AAA and the City working together to make Alexandria better.
  • Warwick: Speaking of successes, the dollars for the new Warwick pool will be voted on in the next budget cycle. It’s looking good for the new pool to be open for the summer of 2017. Assuming City Council approval, the design contract will be awarded by the end of spring 2016 with construction starting later that year.
  • Splash with Dash: AAA worked with the City and the DASH Transit system to provide free bus rides from the Warwick pool area to the Old Town pool this past summer. In an innovative arrangement, DASH offered free bus service during certain hours during the week and expanded hours on the weekend so people who regularly used the now closed Warwick pool could get to the Old Town pool for free.
  • Family Fun Nights: AAA worked with the Chinquapin Advisory Council and the City to provide Family Fun Nights during the year at Chinquapin. These Friday night events focused on getting school kids to the pool for fun and games. They have proven to be an outstanding success and are now being expanded from the elementary schools to the middle schools. An added benefit is that many of these kids and families are first time visitors to Chinquapin!

There are many other things that AAA is doing, but this message is long enough as it is. Relax and enjoy the holidays and know that you are part of a group that is making a difference in our City!

Happy Holidays,
Bill Rivers
Chair, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics

Thank you!

To the Aquatics Community: You did it! You helped us reach our goal of $3,000 for the Day of Giving event on December 1st. Those funds will help us continue pushing forward on our effort to improve pools in Alexandria. I’ll be sending out an overall update shortly, but I just wanted to thank you for your donations and making this event another success for AAA!

Bill Rivers
Chair, Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics

Chairman’s Update – October 7, 2015

Attendees: Taryn Brice-Rowland, Dennis Burstein, Laura Fries, Jeanne Garner, Carolyn Griglione, Bill Rivers, Aaron Rowland, Roger Sullivan, Amanda Wall, Melynda Wilcox

Bill reminded the Board that today was David Miller’s last day in the Rec Department. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by William Chesley, a fellow Division Director in the Rec Department.

Bill explained that Laura Durham was unable to attend the Board meeting but that he had spoken with her earlier in the day to get an update on the aquatic projects with the City. Bill handed out a written summary of their conversation (and is included at the end of this meeting summary). In the future, he and other Board members will attempt to send any written material out to the Board electronically before the meetings.

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Chairman’s Update – September 15, 2015

Chairman’s Update – September 15, 2015

Attendees: Taryn Brice-Rowland, Dennis Burstein, Laura Fries, Jeanne Garner, Carolyn Griglione, Bob Ludke, Craig Moran, Aaron Rowland, Bill Rivers, Roger Sullivan, Amanda Walls, and Melynda Wilcox

The Board meeting was held at the Safeway Meeting Room with all Board members present.

Bill informed the Board that David Miller from the City staff was leaving and returning to Detroit. David had been one of the principal contacts on aquatics and was very responsive. He will be missed. It was suggested that AAA send a letter to Jim Spengler recommending that David’s replacement have an aquatics background. Bill will draft the letter and circulate it for comment.

Bob then updated the group on the financial status of AAA. We currently have $6,243 in our account with an expected expenditure of approximately $500 coming up for printing costs. Otherwise, there are no major obligations expected in the near future.

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Chairman’s Update – August 25, 2015

Group: Just a reminder – there will be a Free Swim Day at the Old Town pool this Saturday, August 29th. This is all part of our free bus service to the Old Town pool this summer. Anyone coming to swim at Old Town will get in free.

We will also have other fun activities going on. Come join the rest of AAA – and Alexandria – at the pool!

AAA will also have a table outside the pool in the afternoon to hand out information about AAA and the aquatics situation. I’ll be there at 2:00. Come and join me and others from AAA. Click on the volunteer link to sign up for this Saturday or for three of the Saturdays in September at the Chinquapin pool.

You can also read about the proposal to put a 50-meter pool in at the Wave Pool on Eisenhower Avenue.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Bill

Chairman’s Update – August 21, 2015

As AAA had advocated previously, the City needs to do more to maximize use of the Cameron Run Wave Pool. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority runs it and wants to renew the existing lease for another 30 years because they want to add more slides there. They also require a special use permit (SUP) for the slides. Some months ago, AAA members suggested the possibility of a 50-meter pool there in exchange for the lease renewal and the SUP. The Park and Recreation Commission listened and recommended that City Council hold off action until more study could be done.

The Park Authority just submitted a revised proposal, along with a study of alternatives, to the City. It is shown below. One alternative involves a 50-meter pool. You will note that all three alternatives include the elimination of the current Wave Pool. We don’t endorse that – instead AAA prefers an alternative of adding a 50-meter pool to the current operation.

There is a lot that needs to be done before any serious action can be considered for this proposal. Consideration also needs to be given to continuing with the 50-meter pool at Chinquapin due to its central location and proximity to TC, but the proposal deserves serious consideration. We’ll be back to you with more information as things develop.

08-19-2015_Nova Parks Update (pdf)

Memo to Council re_NOVA Parks Proposal to Acquire 517 Prince Street – with Attachments (pdf)