Lubber Run Project Update – Final design approval scheduled for Sept. 16 County Board meeting

 – A few additional modifications/tweaks have been made to the new LRCC design. The “forest” or “west” wing was shortened by 20 more feet, and 7 feet were added to the “south” wing to make up the difference. Of the 109 trees to be cut down, there is a net reduction of 4 trees. So 105 mature trees will be cut.

The staff report says nothing about the elevated track. It says staff will look for ways to include solar panels and the geothermal heating system, but these items are not included in the project’s $47 million budget, even though that budget exceeds the “high” average cost ($13 million) for constructing a 110,000 sq ft community center in Arlington County by over 3.5 times. See BuildingJournal.com‘s construction cost estimating tool at http://buildingjournal.com/con struction-estimating.html.

Though the solar panels and geothermal system are labeled as “net-zero” — in fact, net-zero is a design process that integrates energy-reduction and environmental-conservation strategies from the very first step in the design process; however, the net-zero design process was not followed for LRCC. There is no mention in staff’s report or presentation of the Keep It Simple petition with over 130 signatures.

Even though thousands of new housing units are being built in nearby West Ballston, there is no indication that the building’s foundation will be constructed sufficiently to support additional floors on any portion of the building in the future to accommodate a growing population.

LRCC is on the County Board’s agenda for next Saturday, Sept. 16, 8:30 am, item #54. To see the full agenda, visit: http://arlington.granicus.com/ GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view _id=2&event_id=1104

Please see staff’s latest presentation on LRCC at http://arlington.granicus.com/ MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event _id=1104&meta_id=166920

Staff’s report on LRCC to the County Board is at http://arlington.granicus.com/ MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&event _id=1104&meta_id=166928

Letters from the Urban Forestry Commission, the Park & Recreation Commission, the Public Facilities Review Committee and the Environment & Energy Conservation Commission (attached) all had a common theme — reduce the building footprint and shift it closer to Park Drive in order to push the building and related excavation further away from the slope and forested area adjacent to Lubber Run.

The goal of of these recommendations would be to reduce the risk of uncontrolled runoff and erosion problems both before and after construction (which would also reduce costs for both temporary and permanent mitigation infrastructure) and to reduce the loss of high-value mature trees in the forested area close to a sensitive body of water — Lubber Run.

Suzanne Smith Sundburg

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