County Board Authorizes Lubber Run Community Center Contract -- Clari

Published on July 20, 2017

(CLARIFICATION: 07/20/2017 7:45 a.m. An earlier version of this release failed to note that Vice Chair Katie Cristol and Board Member Libby Garvey supported the approval of the contract, but preferred not to defer endorsement of the final concept design.)

  • $37 million Construction Manager at Risk contract

  • Defers endorsing design to allow more community engagement

  • Board commits to Net Zero energy consumption for center

The Arlington County Board today authorized a contract to replace the Lubber Run Community Center, built in 1956 at the intersection of Park Drive and North George Mason Drive, with a new facility that will optimize green space by moving parking underground, and offer an array of programs and services.

"The Board's action tonight is a significant milestone for our community," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "Not only are we moving forward to rebuild one of our oldest facilities and fill it with vibrant programming, we also are taking a new approach to the design and construction contract, one we believe will improve project delivery."

The County Board voted 3-2 to approve a contract with James G. Davis Construction Corporation to replace the community center, and to defer endorsement of the final concept design for the facility until September, to allow more time for community feedback. Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol and Board Member Libby Garvey voted no. Cristol and Garvey supported the approval of the contract, but preferred not to defer endorsement of the final concept design.

"A majority of Board members had concerns about the lack of clarity in the final stages of the public engagement process," Fisette said. "We felt we needed to delay official endorsement of this scheme for our new Lubber Run Community Center until our September meeting, to give the public and the appropriate commissions a chance to weigh-in on it and propose refinements within the current massing scheme." In voting for the delay, the Board majority emphasized that the additional review by the public and commissions are not intended to produce "fundamental changes" to the concept design.

[caption id="attachment_12961" align="alignright" width="300"]Schematic of planned Lubber Run Community Center New Lubber Run Community Center concept design.[/caption]

County to use Construction Manager at Risk for first time

For the first time, the County will use a construction manager at risk (CMAR) project delivery method — meaning the contractor will provide pre-construction and construction services for a maximum guaranteed amount of $37 million. CMAR will improve project delivery by allowing early builder input on costs, schedule, value and quality.

Total project budget for the community center's replacement is $47.8 million, which includes design and construction soft costs and $1.15 million for utilities, security and project contingencies. The project is funded through the 2016 voter-approved Bond Referendum.

Optimizing green space

The current scheme offers a building designed to provide programs for youth, adults and seniors including a pre-school, senior center, gymnasium, and fitness center and multi-purpose rooms for recreation programming and community use. It also will house about 70 Department of Parks and Recreation employees and one level of structured parking. The building design optimizes the site's green space and preserves existing trees to the greatest possible extent. The park and playground also will be renovated.

Sustainable materials and systems

The building will include sustainable materials and systems. The project's architect, VMDO, Inc., recently designed Arlington Public School's Discovery School and will use their experience with sustainability design features in the Lubber Run project. The County Board directed staff to find a path forward for net zero energy consumption.

Since the project kick-off, VMDO, Inc. and the community have explored design schemes together. The new building layout will foster a sense of community, inclusion and connectivity.

Community meeting

A community meeting is set for Wednesday July 19, 2017 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Barrett Elementary School. Staff will seek feedback on the current scheme and on the outdoor elements. County staff will bring the design to the Board for its endorsement in September, and will provide updates on elements such as exterior and interior finishes, any design changes as a result of the CMAR review., and update the Board on approaches to achieving net zero energy certification and traffic improvements.

Learn more about the project here. To read the staff report, visit the County website and scroll down to item No. 52 of the Agenda for the July 18 Recessed Board Meeting.