Hollin Meadows Swim & Tennis Club (HMSTC) is a thriving part of our community, bringing families and friends together across the Alexandria region to make memories and celebrate summer for generations. And yet our story is just beginning; we envision that HMSTC’s five and a half acres of secluded, shaded property, just minutes from Old Town and Mount Vernon, will continue to be a welcome summer refuge for generations to come.
At 55 years old, the HMSTC infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life. While the pool remains in good condition, thanks to the behind-the-scenes efforts of its volunteer Board, annual costs to maintain the existing infrastructure are becoming prohibitive and will increase dramatically if we don’t act soon.
In 2017 the HMSTC Board established a resolution to form a Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) to study and research best practices and recommend options for a holistic club renovation of HMSTC.
It is our intention to keep membership apprised of our progress on the planning and renovations so please continue to check back often for the latest information.
HMSTC Pool & Bathhouse Renovation Project -Summary
Vision: The center of the renovation is our 55-year-old swimming pool, which, while operational and licensed via “grandfather” clauses, is not compliant with current safety, building, health, and ADA codes. Additionally, it does not provide the many extras that can be added to a pool for optimal enjoyment by members (slides, competitive dive board, more lanes, more depth, improved bathhouse, etc). Also included in the vision is longer operating hours for swimming and tennis, as well as an increase in the size of our membership from 300 to 450 families.
Initial Research: After a year-long research period in 2017 and 2018 when the committee interviewed other clubs that had recently completed similar renovations, initial concept drawings were developed and presented at the 2018 HMSTC Annual Meeting. Since that time, those concepts have been adjusted and further developed for the 2019, and 2020 Annual Meetings.
Timeframe Update: Ground breaking for a new pool construction is estimated to start in September 2022. The actual start-date depends mainly on the progress of fundraising. The construction has been broken into two phases: Phase 1 starts in September 2022 and includes the main Pool and the baby pool replacement as well as the pool deck area. Phase 2 is estimated to starts in September 2023. Phase 2 includes the construction of the Bathhouse, consisting of a full reconfiguration and addition for amenities and storage space. Construction would be done in the off-seasons allowing members to enjoy the summer pool seasons throughout all phases.
Fundraising Committee: A separate committee was established in early 2019 to strategize on how to best raise the funds required to start and complete the project. The rough cost estimate for all the renovation is approximately $2.5M. We are building a facility that will last for the next 50 years. Renovation costs will be covered by a combination of fundraising events, dues increase, assessments, loans, donations, and sponsorships.
The philosophy is that the cost should be spread over as many years as possible, as the current members should not pay for all of this, but rather, both current and future members should pay for it over 20+ years. At the Dec 2019 HMSTC Annual Meeting, a method to raise funds quickly for the initial costs and loan down payments was introduced to allow members to prepay their membership dues to the tune of $3k, $5K, or $10K and to earn interest on their account balance. Many members have taken advantage of this mutually-beneficial opportunity to raise nearly $100K to cover initial soft-costs (County permit, civil engineering, legal, architecture, etc) and for use on the future down payment on our large construction loan. However, COVID-19 put a damper on other planned 2020 fundraising activities that were critical to raising the funds required for the minimum down payment on the construction loan.
During 2021 season, we came back stronger. The swim season was spectacular in the home of our Barracudas. Bonding together for our good cause, we organized many social activities, and fundraising events. Two remarkable key events were successfully executed and well participated by our members and the neighborhood friends & family. In July, the Swim-A-Thone event took place on a perfect Sunday. Over $16K were raised for our Pool construction. Later, in September, we celebrated our 1st Annual Gala Fundraising Event, a signature fundraiser that we plan to return in 2022 and beyond.
Formal Planning: In summer 2019, we contracted professional services in order to prepare the documentation required to take our design to Fairfax County to amend our Special Permit. To that end, we contracted with a civil engineering firm, a land lawyer, and an environmental company. The process to gain County approval was long and challenging, but necessary. After much work by the LRPC volunteers and the engineering and legal professionals, the Club was successful in gaining County Board of Zoning Appeals approval of a Special Permit Amendment on June 24, 2020. The approval included our request for extended operating hours and an increase in family memberships.
With the Special Permit being approved, the Club hired an architect to develop the Bathhouse designs, tying it with the pool and deck areas and amenities. The architect then obtained cost estimates in November 2020 providing a better picture of how the overall design ties everything together and the order of magnitude of cost.
Events to enable a September 2022 ground-breaking include:
- Fundraising and emphasis on attracting new members –continuous effort, please spread the word and share our social media events and updates.
- Building permit for Bathhouse – A&E team to finalize plans
- RFP development, proposal reviews, contractor selections, permits, etc.
- Contractor Selection NVBlu – January 2022
- Pool Replacement Building Permit – February 2022
- Loan Application and Approval. Mar-June 2022
- Construction Commencement – September 2022