FCPA provides update on upcoming Mount Vernon Rec Center closure
As the year winds down, and the Mount Vernon Rec Center (MVRC) on Belle View Boulevard prepares to close for a two-year renovation, the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) has provided an update to the local community.
In a Nov. 1 memo to rec center customers, FCPA deputy director Sara Baldwin said the project remains “on schedule” with site closure set for early 2023. Bidding for the construction project began in September, and four of nine pre-qualified contractors submitted bids, according to FCPA. Following the completion of contractual processes, FCPA expects to announce the winning bidder in the next three to five weeks.
Once the rec center shuts down — in January 2023 according to the updated project timeline — FCPA will move out of the facility over a two-week period, and the contractor will take over the site. The newly renovated and expanded rec center with two ice rinks and a dedicated fitness center is tentatively expected to reopen in January 2025.
As discussed with community members during a May 2022 public meeting, FCPA plans to works closely with MVRC patrons to ensure they have options available to meet their fitness goals during the facility’s closure. Members can visit any of FCPA’s nine rec centers, and hours will be extended at George Washington Rec Center on Old Mount Vernon Road, said FCPA. Many swim, water exercise, fitness and children’s classes will be moved to George Washington and Lee District Rec Centers, while other classes will take place at local schools. Information on class locations is available in the latest issue of Parktakes magazine.
FCPA also plans to “provide flexibility regarding refunds or membership extensions” and “work closely with swim teams and ice users to find other venues wherever possible,” according to Baldwin.
The Northern Virginia Ice Dogs are one of the organizations that have needed to find an alternate location for their youth hockey program. Besides continuing to skate at partner rinks like Fort Dupont, the Ice Dogs will “make the necessary adjustments in 2023 and beyond to field Ice Dog teams from local rinks during the MVRC renovation process,” said at-large board member Megan Gottemoeller.
“When the renovation is complete, we can't wait to move back into MVRC's two brand-new, state-of-the-art ice sheets and bring the unique Ice Dog brand of family-friendly, accessible, competitive and fun hockey back to the Mount Vernon area,” she added.
The MVRC’s upcoming renovation comes after a year of challenges with the facility's aging infrastructure. Earlier this year, the ice rink had to close for a few weeks due to the failure of its dehumidification system. In more recent months, FCPA has had to repair leaks in the roof and fix the pool dehumidification system, boiler and ice melting pit.
The Park Authority promised to keep community members informed as the MVRC renovation project moves forward.