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Patrick Henry Program Options

Introduction and Background

In conjunction with a joint feasibility study with the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is evaluating alternatives for redevelopment of the existing Patrick Henry Recreation Center. The goal of this evaluation is to ensure the plan for a new facility responds programmatically to both the current community’s needs, as well as the future needs related to a projected increase in enrollment at the school. The first phase of the feasibility study showed that the shared school and recreation site can accommodate a new recreation center that meets broad community needs for parks and recreation. RPCA is now seeking additional community input regarding a range of potential programming models to determine the appropriate facility needs.

The City is timing the replacement of the recreation center to coincide with the construction of the Patrick Henry School. The shared nature of the site offers ACPS, the City of Alexandria, and the community at-large a unique opportunity to design and build a project that meets the academic and recreational needs of the Patrick Henry community.

The existing Patrick Henry Elementary School building, located at 4643 Taney Avenue, was constructed in the early 1950s. The City constructed a recreation center, including a gymnasium addition in 1973. Additionally, there are athletic fields on-site that are heavily used by both the school and general community. In 2006, the City determined that the existing recreation center no longer met community needs, and in 2008 RPCA and the Department of General Services initiated a feasibility study to renovate and expand the center. Through that study, the public identified a need for a larger gymnasium, additional multipurpose space, an adult fitness room, space for seniors and teens, additional programming space, and a running track.

Following completion of the 2008 study, which recommended a significant increase in the size of the recreation center, ACPS determined that the school building and related capacity would also need to be studied, and as noted above, the City opted to ensure the two projects went forward jointly.