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Aquatics Forum to Discuss New Wakefield Pools

By ARLnow.com

Friday - 2/15/2013, 4:25pm  ET

Sketch of the new Wakefield High School aquatics center Sketch of the new Wakefield High School

The new Wakefield High School, slated for completion this summer, will include two new publicly-accessible pools. An upcoming meeting will provide the public an opportunity to learn more about and weigh in on the operation of those pools.

On Tuesday, March 12, from 7:00 to 9:00 at the Arlington Education Center (1426 N. Quincy Street), the Arlington Public Schools Aquatics Committee will hold its annual aquatics forum for residents. The forum will focus on the new Wakefield aquatics center, but will also discuss the existing Washington-Lee and Yorktown pools. A similar meeting in 2009 gave residents a chance to contribute views on the then-new Washington-Lee aquatics center.

Expected to open to the public in September, the new Wakefield aquatics center will consist of an 8-lane lap pool and an instructional/diving pool that can also be used as a 5-lane lap pool.

In an email, APS Aquatics Director Helena Machado told us the following about the new facility.

The Wakefield facility pool currently under construction will contain two swimming pools. The “competition pool” will be 25 yards in length and will have 8 lanes. The “instructional/diving” pool will be 25 meters in length and 33.3 feet wide. This pool’s primary use will be for diving and a wide variety of shallow and deep water instructional activities. This pool’s unique configuration of joining diving and shallow-water instructional space will give us the opportunity to also use the pool as a 5-lane lap pool of either 25 yards or 25 meters in length.

The new Wakefield aquatics facility will be programmed and staffed to provide the best possible service to the aquatics community, and at this time there are no plans to reduce community swim hours. The facility and both of its pools will be used for a wide range of aquatics activities, including swimming instruction, water fitness classes, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and lap swimming. The pool will be staffed to ensure a safe environment for all of its program participants.

The “instructional/diving” pool will be open daily for classes, diving or other special needs (including lap swimming at times) as needed, and as the scheduling and programming warrants. It was designed as a flexible space and not designed to be only a lane pool. As a result, it will be programmed that way which has always been the plan.

Wakefield High School, at 4901 S. Chesterfield Road, is about 6 miles away from the county’s planned $80 million Long Bridge Park aquatics center.