Transformation of Kings West Swim Club Now Underway

Transformation of Kings West Swim Club Now Underway

Collaborative Effort Spearheaded by Supervisor Cook and Park Board Member Tony Vellucci will turn a Community Negative into a Big Environmental Positive

Fairfax – Nearly a year ago, Supervisor John Cook was able to announce a “win-win-win” situation in which Fairfax County acquired the defunct Kings West Swim Club for storm-water management and park use. Today, on site, he announced that the work to turn a community eye-sore into a community asset is now underway.

“This is a great honor and privilege,” said Supervisor Cook during the January 30th, groundbreaking ceremony. “I am proud to have been able to play a role in taking an abandoned pool that created serious health and safety concerns for the community and transform it into an environmental resource that will provide much needed water quality enhancements in the Rabbit Run Branch of the Pohick Stream Valley and protect a sensitive Resource Protection Area.”

Upon completion, the new green space will replace the club house and parking lot, but will adaptively reuse the existing swimming pool in order to remove several hundred pounds of nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment that would otherwise pollute Rabbit Run annually. The newly created pervious surface will also reduce stormwater runoff by 44,000 cubic feet per year, or roughly 10 percent of the annual rainfall that would otherwise flow through the site, further improving sediment control and reducing the effects of erosion. Because of these significant environmental benefits, stormwater funds of $430,000 were provided to undertake this work.

“When community and government come together and work cooperatively, successes like this happen,” continued Supervisor Cook. “The community has been very proactive throughout this whole process, maintaining their commitment to the swim club while also searching tirelessly for a way to reuse the property in a beneficial manner. The County’s Department of Public Works (DPWES), and the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) are to be especially commended for their vision and dedication to this project, and I’d also like to personally thank Tony Vellucci, our Braddock District Representative to the Park Authority for his work in shepherding this through.”

This is a significant achievement for the Braddock District, as the community gains access to additional green space while disposing of a property whose facilities have been closed for years. The removal of the pool and its amenities removes a potential health hazard, eyesore and crime magnet, and also avoids potential financial liability for pool board members, who have served in the best interests of the community and were subject to potential legal obligation.

The Kings West Swim Club has been closed for several years, having suffered from declining membership. Because the majority of the nine acre parcel lies in a Resource Protection Area (RPA), it is ideal for storm water management and a neighborhood park. After significant community consultation, the DPWES and (FCPA) agreed to partner to incorporate the property into the Park Authority's Stream Valley Park Network.

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