County Board Endorses New Lubber Run Community Center Design

Published on September 16, 2017

  • West Wing footprint reduced 50 ft. after community input

  • Green space optimized

The Arlington County Board today endorsed the conceptual design for the replacement of Lubber Run Community Center and Park. The Board's approval will allow the Architect and Construction Manager at Risk to complete the design and build the facility.

"This project brings together so many Arlington values," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "There was lots of community involvement and excitement surrounding the new design and plan. Attention was paid to functionality, energy efficiency, sustainability — and great design. This is truly a community project, and it will produce a center we can all be proud of, one that will serve generations of Arlingtonians."

The County Board voted 4 to 0 (Chair Fisette was absent), to endorse the design concept developed by the design firm of VMDO, Inc. and the community since December 2016. To read the staff report, view the agenda for the Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 Regular County Board Meeting. Scroll down to item no.  54.

The County Manager informed the Board that, following the Board's approval in July of a contract with James G. Davis Construction Corporation to build the new community center, the County was unable to successfully conclude negotiations with the awardee. The Manager will bring a new contract to the Board, with the next highest bidder from the competitive bidding process, for its consideration at the Tuesday, Sept. 19 Recessed County Board Meeting.

Community input shaped Center design

The final design reflects community input since the Board approved a $37 million contract in July to build the center and park. Staff worked with VMDO architects, the County's designer of the center to integrate these changes while maintaining the core functionality of the building and park. Based on feedback, the west wing of the new building has been further reduced by 20 ft., for a total reduction of 50 ft. from the original scheme presented in May. The playground and park amenities also were finalized based on community feedback over the summer. A community meeting is planned for this November to address traffic and street improvements associated with the project. The date for that meeting will be announced soon.

Optimizing green space

The new building will 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 provide one level of structured parking. The building design optimizes the site's green space and preserves as many existing trees as possible.

Sustainable materials and systems

The building will include sustainable materials and systems. The project's architect 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.

Project funding

The project originally was approved in the Fiscal Year 2015-2024 Capital Improvement Plan with a budget of $28 million. The County's decision to substantially increase the site's green space by undergrounding a large surface parking lot, in keeping with the 2015 Community Facilities Study findings and recommendations, to add a gymnasium, and to replace outdoor park amenities increased the total budget and funding to $47.86 million.

Funding for the Lubber Run Community Center replacement is available from bond funding approved by Arlington County voters in the November 2016 referenda.