RCC’S TERRY L. SMITH AQUATICS CENTER OPENING
DELAYED UNTIL JANUARY 27 (PDF)
RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said a Monday meeting with project leaders from Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services included news that a pair of critical systems paths held unforeseen obstacles. The project construction team had originally forecasted opening the two pools on January 6, capping a year-long renovation project of the 40-year-old facility.
“During testing of new fire alarm system components in the project area last week, it was discovered that our existing system and the pool system were on two separate relay paths,” said Gordon. “The strobe lights used in the pool are different from those in the rest of the building. Fire regulations require all building systems to be identical and on the same relay processes. We will have to replace existing strobe units inside the pool environment and connect those new ones to the building system. This will add time needed to order the parts and install them.”
Gordon also noted that a similar start-up testing issue revealed that the electrical power service original to the old pool venue is now insufficient to power up the new lighting and emergency lighting in total, necessitating another replacement and installation timeline not originally forecast as needed.
In the interim, punch list and further equipment systems testing, including HVAC and pump issues, will be ongoing to ensure there will be no further complications with those areas.
“We are going to use the time delay to assure that we run the pool systems sufficiently long enough to expose anything that needs to be tweaked before we reopen,” Gordon explained. “We are reaching out to our registered patrons, swim team users and to the public to help them plan accordingly.”
As a small way to offset the pain of the prolonged closure, RCC will be providing their swim team users with complimentary team practice time when the pool reopens. Patrons may count on the month of February for the special $1 access price for drop-in use. All patrons enrolled in affected classes will receive full refunds. Any questions about the project or future use of the pools should be directed to RCCContact@fairfaxcounty.gov.
Gordon added, “We know this has been an enormous burden to our regular swimmers and those wanting to enroll their family members in learn-to-swim programs. The two new pools are beautiful, and we are confident that swimmers will find them exciting to use. We are as eager to get the space open as the public is, and we hope this is the final delay in getting to that happy state.”