It’s election night, and while Twitter is lighting up with some great swimming-themed political humor (@MikeLGustafson has been lighting it up), there was one truly-significant swimming vote going down in Northern Virginia. Just like they have in every bond election for the last 30-plus years, the citizens of Arlington County voted overwhelmingly today in favor of a $50.55 million bond that will largely go toward the construction of an $80 million natatorium in the wealthy D.C.-area county.
With only the Virginia Highlands precinct left to report, along with the addition of provisional and absentee ballots to the totals, 61.38% of voters (51,036, to be exact) marked yes for this bond.
In total, there were only 3 of the 53 precincts that voted “no” to the bond, showing that the support was not unanimous and that there were small areas that were very much against the construction of this pool. The main complaint was not the idea of the pool itself, rather it was the massive price-tag that far outpaced those of other large facilities in the Metroplex.
The official description of the project is below, outlining a facility that will have a 50-meter competition pool as well as an additional 25-yard pool and therapy pools. The complex will also have a “community” area and an indoor fitness center.
2. Local Parks and Recreation: $50,553,000
This program funds Parks Maintenance Capital and provides for recurring, systematic re-investment in existing facilities to insure efficient, safe, high quality park and recreation facilities. Included are projects approved in the Park Master Plan such as the modernization of Quincy, Highview and Virginia Highlands parks. These projects include the replacement of playground equipment and athletic fields, safety surfacing, landscaping, ADA accommodations, and other capital improvements.
Funding is also included for the design and construction of the Long Bridge Park Aquatics, Health and Fitness Facility and surrounding park. Features include a 50-meter x 25-yard competition pool, teaching pool, family leisure pool, therapy pool and wet classrooms / partyrooms. An indoor fitness area and community space will also be constructed, as well as surface parking, public art, and a variety of outdoor public spaces in the adjacent park.
The parks land acquisition and open space program is also included in this category. The funding allows the County to support or expand recreational opportunities, protect or conserve existing open space, preserve unique land features, and/or provide additional green space in urban areas.