Come Have Some Fun

Come Have Some Fun

Huge Rec Center/Field House Project is in the Works

August 6, 2002

<bt> * An $18.5 million Sully District Rec Center will be built on 37.3 acres just north of Westfield High School, bounded by Stonecroft Boulevard and Cub Run. Anticipated to open in July 2004, the 94,000-square-foot rec center will house two, 25-meter competitive pools and a separate leisure pool with slide for children.

It'll also offer whirlpool/spa, weight training and cardiovascular fitness areas, multipurpose rooms and offices. Also planned are some 5,000 feet of trail, with a stream crossing, plus concrete walkways.

People will enter the complex from Stonecroft Boulevard, and the rec center entrance will be on the upper level. That's where the 10,000-square-foot fitness area will be, along with offices for administration and community meetings. Downstairs will be the pools.

The rec center will have glass sides, up to the roof, to take advantage of views of the forested hillside. Native stone on the exterior walls will blend in with the rocks outside, and the interior will have laminated-timber truss roofing for a rustic, woodsy ambiance.

People may look down onto both pools from an overhead viewing bridge. Then from the end of the bridge, they may go downstairs and out onto a large, wooden deck that may be rented for children's birthday parties or used for family picnics.

* A 160,000-square-foot field house constructed by a private party will be constructed next door to the rec center and a stone's throw from Westfield High. And from the variety of events that may be held in its indoor track/convention area to the versatile floors that can transform the ice rink into other uses, the new facility plans to offer something for everyone.

"We can accommodate [almost] every sport," said Bob McClendon, president of Landmark Sports Entertainment of Herndon. "My personal feeling is that we're building, within the confines of this site, a national sports and tournament facility unsurpassed anywhere."

He, along with Landmark CEO John Nettles, represents the lead company — D.W. Sivers Cos. of Portland, Ore. — which won the exclusive right to negotiate with the Fairfax County Park Authority to build the field house. The three primary components of the field house will be:

An indoor track — It will be 200 meters with eight straight and six oval lanes, plus amenities for pole vault, high jump and long jump. And within the perimeter of the track will be a multipurpose surface for indoor soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and indoor football. It may also be used for competitive gymnastics and cheerleading — not to mention concerts, graduations, conventions, large-scale speaking events and youth dances.

An ice rink — It will be NHL-regulation size, 85x200 feet, for ice hockey, figure skating and public skating. However, it'll be able to be converted to multiple types of surfaces for in-line hockey, public roller skating or skateboarding. The floor may be covered over or taken out, altogether, like at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., for particular events.

Hardwood-floor area — This section will be used for basketball, volleyball, futsal (five-on-five soccer on a hardwood court) and gymnastics. The three, large basketball courts are college-size, but may be used for several, smaller youth-basketball courts or for six volleyball courts.

And because all of the floors may be converted to different types for different events, the facility could, for example, host a high-school graduation on a Saturday, followed by a philharmonic performance on Sunday and a track meet on Monday. Or it could conceivably have ice skating, a track meet, gymnastics, football and swimming competitions all within the same day.

Sports classes and instruction are also part of the game plan, both for young athletes as well as for college students wanting to learn about careers in sports-facility management. If all goes well, the field house could open in late 2004 or early 2005.