First Look at Pool (And Park) Designs Unveiled
At a meeting in the Hearst Elementary gymnasium on the evening of November 16th, DPR unveiled a first look at preliminary designs for the pool. The location and layout dovetails with those recommended earlier by FOHP (detailed in the section below): the pool and pool house would be located on the southwestern corner of the park. The entrance to the facility would be on 35th Street, into a small cube that extends above a one story pool house which would be located at the existing tennis court level. The elevated entrance would fulfill the requirements of ADA access through an elevator (a stairway will also be available).
In a nod to the concerns about the heritage trees, no construction would take place north of the existing tennis court fence, and the excavation for the pool (the shallow end at that) would begin more than 50 feet away from the nearest large tree. That first "dig" site would be well towards the middle of the existing impermeable tennis courts - under which there would be presumably little tree root growth.
Other notable items include:
- the pool house, with the exception of the access cube on 35th street, would be one story with a green roof, and therefore could likely become invisible to pedestrians on 35th and Quebec Street, since it would nestle behind the existing hill. Significant plantings would also be put in place at the key 35th and Quebec Street location, further helping to obscure the pool house structure.
- two resurfaced tennis courts and a practice wall would be located next to the pool
- a six foot concrete wall would be located between the pool and the tennis courts and act as a significant sight and noise barrier. That 6 ft wall would be topped with another six feet of black chain link fence to inhibit tennis balls making their way into the pool area.
- views of the playing field from the pool deck level would be preserved
- ideas for the park-facing walls of the two-story entrance cube structure are being solicited. The suggestion of a green wall for those surfaces was well-received by all.
- some sort of art project will be included in the final design. FOHP would like to recommend that that art perhaps be inside the pool house, on the walls in mosaic tile.
- a DDOT parking and traffic study will be conducted likely this spring. DPR has asked for suggestions from the community about the best timing of that study (likely to overlap with the end of the school year and the start of summer).
- the slide deck of the presentation is available by clicking here.
Earlier Design/Location FOHP Recommendations
Friends of Hearst Pool believes one of the best options would be to locate the pool on the tennis court platform and change almost nothing at the soccer field level - an option we're calling Option 1 b (for better).
All, or nearly all, bioswale work to control runoff could happen on the Idaho Avenue cut-through space, and the soccer field level could be left virtually untouched.
The two existing tennis courts adjacent to the new pool would be preserved, and the third existing court would then serve as the footprint for the new pool and pool house.
This location could yield the following:
- 6 x 25 yard lanes (standardized DC DPR configuration for equipment and purchasing)
- flexible lane and usage configurations
- shallow entrance and child area
- view overlooking the fields from the lounge deck area
- two adjacent resurfaced tennis courts, making the site a true swim and tennis facility
- no trees harmed in construction
- green cover integrated into the lounge deck
- picnic benches under the tall trees at field level serving as an informal picnic area
Update: At DPR's last community, Tyrell Lashley, DC DPR’s Director of Aquatics, confirmed the following:
- The pool would, in fact, be DPR's standard size of 6 lanes x 25 yards (+ splash pad)
- This length and lane configuration meets US Swimming specs and would be available to host a swim team, although NOT swim meets (DPR has a designated sight in Northeast DC for this).
- The pool would be 75 ft x 42 ft with decking extending back from the pool edge for 15 ft.
- Lashley and the designers emphasized that there is some flexibility in the configuration of the pool deck, so the decking can be best adapted to the space. But the current estimate for the pool + deck area would be 10,800 sq ft in total.
- According to slides presented at DPR’s last community meeting (such as the one below), the pool would be roughly the same size as the Langdon Pool in Ward 5 and the Douglass Pool in Ward 8 (although the deck would be a different size than those locations).
Please contribute your design ideas by emailing Friends of Hearst Pool directly.