New year-round amenity to replace Watkins Mill Pool

by Amy Roswurm

A major discussion point for the Montgomery Village Foundation (MVF) Board of Directors in 2019 has been the repurposing of the Watkins Mill Pool site. By repurposing the site, it will allow for the creation of a new amenity for better utilization of the recreation area.

Each year, the aquatics staff provides detailed statistics on utilization of all MVF pools. including the Watkins Mill Pool, which is MVF’s smallest and least used pool. This location has always been a challenge due to the proximity of the busy Watkins Mill Road, which fronts the pool site. MVF has six additional pools with capacity.

The reality is that as MVF renovates facilities, operating and reserve expenses increase. For these reasons, the Board of Directors has decided to move in a different direction with the Watkins Mill Pool location and develop a plan to repurpose this site. As such, the MVF Board of Directors approved the 2020 Budget in October without funds to operate the Watkins Mill Pool in 2020 and beyond. In addition, the Board approved funds for the demolition of the pool and the installation of a new, year-round amenity (to be determined).

Recreation and Parks staff researched various options for the repurpose of the Watkins Mill site. Some of the criteria staff considered were: low operation cost, low reserve cost, year-round usage, unique to Montgomery Village, support of Long Range Facility Plan, support of community needs and fit within the given budget parameters.

Staff presented different amenity options to the Recreation Committee in October. The committee narrowed down the selection to four amenities that they believe could be a good fit for the location. Those amenities include: outdoor fitness space with playground; outdoor fitness space; skate park; or multiple sports courts (futsal, basketball and pickleball).

The committee recommended hosting both a community forum and survey to gain community feedback on these proposed concepts. The community forum is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10 in the North Creek Board Room, 20125 Arrowhead Road.

The survey is available online at https://bit.ly/2JNBpwc and will be open until Friday, Dec. 13. Residents may also request a paper copy of the survey at the Montgomery Village Office, 10120 Apple Ridge Road. Community feedback and recommendations will be presented to the Recreation Committee and MVF Board of Directors in January.

For more information, questions or comments about this project, contact Director of Recreation and Parks Duncan Mullis at 240-243-2337 or e-mail dmullis@mvf.org.

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