Braddock District residents and Supervisor John Cook helped break ground Wednesday at the site of the former Kings West Swim Club and the new location of Rabbit Run community park at 4803 Tapestry Dr., in Fairfax.
The new park, which Cook called a "win-win-win" for Fairfax County residents, will include a new stormwater management facility in addition to the park, which will replace the clubhouse and parking lot.
"It's a great day. This has been a long time coming, about eight years. This pool, in its day, was a great recreational facility before it fell on hard times. It's great to finally see some work starting on this project," said Cook in his remarks.
The Kings West Swim Club closed several years ago due to declining membership. Fairfax County acquired the defunct club for stormwater management and park use with the goal of transforming it into a green space.
During his speech, Cook also acknowledged that the pool caused health issues in the community due to mosquitos and other hazards, and attracted vandalism and "all the bad things that happen when you have an empty building like this."
"To be able to take a negative and turn it into something positive that's going to do great things for the environment is a great thing. And then to finish it off with an indoor park so that the community can enjoy this land in a different way makes it a win all the way around," said Cook.
The new park and stormwater facility project is a partnership between Cook, the Fairfax County Park Authority (including Tony Vellucci, the Braddock District representative to the Park Authority Board), and the Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works (DPWES).
Approximately $430,000 in stormwater funds were used toward the project, which will be part of the Park Authority’s Stream Valley Park Network.
"This program shows the importance of partnerships. It is the way we get things done in Fairfax County," said Cook. This project never would have happened if one group or entity tried to do it by themselves... It was creativity and ingenuity and out of the box thinking that got this done."
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