Universal Design Playground Coming to Quincy Park

Published on January 28, 2016


  • Arlington County Board approves $1 million contract

  • First County playground to incorporate Universal Design elements

  • Heavily used park will also get new sand volleyball court


The Arlington County Board today approved a contract for $1,085,727 to overhaul the heavily used playground and sand volleyball court at Quincy Park.

The playground will be the first in Arlington to incorporate state-of-the-art Universal Design elements to make it accessible for people of all ages and physical abilities. All Arlington County parks are accessible and meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, but this playground was specially designed to accommodate and engage the entire community.

"This is a truly innovative project that will make Quincy Park a very special place, accessible, welcoming and fun for people of all ages and abilities," said Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey.

Wheelchair accessible playground


Universal Design seeks to appeal aesthetically and functionally to everyone, regardless of age or physical ability.

The new playground will have a wheelchair ramp to reach the top of the slide area, instead of stairs. Its swings will hold heavier bodies, so that parents and caregivers can swing alongside children.

The Universal Design elements mean people of varying ages and abilities can climb, swing, play and enjoy this space together. Softer surfaces will make the play space safer. The design includes quieter areas for those with sensory sensitivities. Fencing and gates are all integrated into the landscaping to provide green space and a calming environment. A pavilion area will shade picnic tables, and there will be other benches and tables for seating throughout. There are also water fountains with bottle fillers. The park's features will be explained in signs throughout the park.

Extensive community engagement and input


Beginning in July 2014, County staff conducted extensive public outreach for this project, including four public meetings and two on-line surveys. County residents participating in the public meetings included neighbors of the park, parents of children and adults with disabilities and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association. Staff solicited feedback from organizations such as the Special Education PTA, the Community Services Board for Developmental Disabilities and the Arc of Northern Virginia. County staff also consulted with a designer who specializes in universal playground design. To facilitate the design for the sand volleyball court, County staff consulted with local players, teams and groups such as Orange Line Sports and United Social Sports.

A final concept was presented at a May 2015 public hearing that had the consensus approval of all involved groups.

Contract Awarded


The Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to award the contract to Bennett Group, the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in the competitive bidding process. The overall project funding for this Parks Maintenance Capital project of $1,275,000.00 includes design, soft costs and construction. Funding is provided by FY 2012 closeout funds ($100,000) and FY 2013 park bond funds ($1,175,000).

Construction is set to begin early spring of 2016 and be completed by the fall. To read the staff report on this project, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #18 on the Agenda for the Thursday, Jan. 28 Carryover County Board Meeting.

See additional images

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Quincy Park Image