County Board Approves Major Renovations for Virginia Highlands Park

  • 18-acre park is one of County's largest, most heavily used
  • Replacing 10 courts; adding basketball half-court
  • Improving access and stormwater drainage

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Arlington County Board today approved an approximately $2 million contract with MarChuk Construction Company to renovate the courts at one of Arlington's biggest and most popular parks, Virginia Highlands.

“These planned renovations will make Virginia Highlands an even greater park,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “People love this park because it has something for everyone – a variety of fields; courts; open space; a playground, and even a new sprayground. This latest renovation is a big step forward in an effort that began 10 years ago to entirely renovate and upgrade one of Arlington's most important recreational spaces.”

The Board voted unanimously as part of the consent agenda to approve the contract. The renovation will include:

  • replacing six tennis courts, two tennis practice courts, two basketball courts;
  • building a new basketball junior half-court;
  • installing new fencing, along with associated court amenities;
  • replacing court lighting with state-of-the-art “dark sky” technology;
  • improving stormwater drainage;
  • increasing accessibility by adding new paths and upgrading parking; and
  • adding new furnishings and shade structures.

The project is funded with Fiscal Year 2012 PAYG (pay-as-you-go) funds and Fiscal Year 2014 Park Bond Funds. Construction should begin the end of this summer and run until fall 2015.

Community process

As the design for the project was getting underway in 2013, several community members expressed concerns that the existing basketball courts were too close to the playground, and that there was no basketball area for youth-only play. To better determine community needs, staff organized surveys, an open house and used the OpenArlington online forum. In the end, the designers relocated the new basketball courts further away from the children's playground and included a new half-court basketball area for kids.

Park filled with amenities

The tennis and basketball courts at the 18-acre park are among the County's major athletic court facilities. The heavily-used courts are located adjacent to the playground, new sprayground, volleyball court and community field on the northwest side of the park.

In the past 10 years, the County has replaced the park's synthetic turf field, playground, restrooms and athletic field lighting, as well as creating the new sprayground. With this current renovation, most of the features in the park, located at 1600 S. Hayes Street, have been updated. The remaining amenities are the diamond field turf; picnic shelter; gazebo; petanque courts, and front plaza area. These amenities are proposed for renovation in the Fiscal Year 2016 Parks Maintenance Capital plan.

To read the staff reports on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #21 on the Agenda for the July Regular County Board Meeting to read the staff report.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.