Is the Potomac Yard Metro station in jeopardy?

The National Park Service has been strongly resisting the city’s preferred location for the proposed Metrorail station at Potomac Yard, potentially putting it in jeopardy.At the DRCA membership meeting tomorrow night (Monday, September 9), Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks will discuss the current situation regarding the station and what we can expect to happen in the coming months as the City Council nears a decision on whether to build or not.

Jinks will also discuss the city’s budget situation in what is expected to be another challenging year.

In addition to Jinks, Jim Spengler, the director of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities, will discuss the very difficult challenges the city faces in meeting the recreational needs of its growing population.

I have asked Spengler to put into context the proposal made to the city in June from a private group who wanted to build a huge sports complex on city-owned Hensley Park in the west end.

The proposal was withdrawn before it could be evaluated for the benefits it could potentially bring to the city. But if realized, it would have provided city residents with a multitude of amenities not currently available in the city.
The proposed amenities included an Olympic-sized indoor pool; an 80,000-square-foot multipurpose field house; a baseball center with four batting cages for baseball and softball; four NCAA regulation-sized basketball and volleyball courts; a therapy pool, water park play area for children, and an outdoor family pool; two NHL-regulation ice rinks for hockey, figure skating and open skating sessions; a 15,000-square-foot gymnastics training space; 20,000 square feet of rock climbing walls; a golf and racquet club with year-round driving range, six indoor tennis courts and eight squash courts; 30,000-square-foot health center and a childcare center.
During last year’s budget debate, it became clear that Alexandria faces major challenges in meeting the recreational needs of its residents. Aquatics facilities dominated that discussion, but there are other areas where we have fallen behind as well. I’m hoping that Spengler can help illuminate the situation for us and provide some direction for the future.