Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Overlee Pool Construction Update

Dear Overlee Members,

As we approach 2012, we would like to update you on the status of our new pool and clubhouse project.

After months of work, we are thrilled to report to you that construction will begin in the very near term.  As we noted in our October update, there were several key pieces of the project that were not fully resolved at that time, including final selection of the general contractor and approval of the site plan by Arlington County.  Both pool and general contractors  have now been selected.  Most importantly, we are now in possession of all of the necessary permits required by Arlington County to build the new pool, the new clubhouse, and make the related changes to the 4 acres that encompass the entire Overlee property.

We are now prepared to begin construction in earnest.  Demolition of the existing clubhouse and preparation of the site for the new pool is slated to begin in late January.

Given the delayed start, the Board deliberated deferring the project until after the summer of 2012.  The decision to proceed with the project beginning this winter was made for several key reasons.  Most importantly, the Board has confidence that the pool and deck construction will be completed in time for the regular season opening over Memorial Day weekend.  Delaying the project presented a number of considerations that we discussed and evaluated, including the risk of higher costs and changes in critical personnel.  Finally, the existing pool and deck present risks due to age and deferred maintenance that could necessitate extensive, costly repairs and could jeopardize a portion of the regular season.

Although any construction project brings with it a certain amount of risk and uncertainty, our contractors are confident that typical winter weather will not irrevocably delay this project.  We are confident that the pool can be completed on time.  Similarly, the clubhouse will be finished in the summer, even if not by Memorial Day.

The annual membership meeting is scheduled to take place on February 15 at 7:00pm.  The location of the meeting is to be decided, as the clubhouse will be a construction site by that time. Members are always encouraged to attend the annual meeting to elect members of the Board and discuss and approve the budget for the coming year.  We also encourage you to attend that meeting to get additional information about the renovation project. 

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy Holiday season.

The Overlee Board

Monday, October 31, 2011

Construction Update

Construction Update 10/13/2011

Duck on Water

We are distributing this e-mail to update all Overlee members as to the status of our renovation project.  Since Overlee closed for the season last month, we have received a number of inquiries:  Why hasn't construction started?  Has the project been postponed for a year?  Will we have a pool next summer?  While Overlee may appear to be in its usual post-season slumber, like a duck on water, in fact a great deal of activity continues to take place beneath the surface.

When we last reported on the progress of the project during the summer general membership meeting, we displayed a number of detailed site plans that showed the developments that have taken place with respect to the proposed pool designs, the layout of the expanded pool deck and surrounding areas, and the features of the new clubhouse.  Since then, the Long Term Planning Committee (LRPC) and the Overlee Board have made considerable progress on a number of a number of key fronts:

1.  We have retained a pool contractor;

2.  We have had a tree preservation plan developed by arborists for the express purpose of minimizing damage to the mature oaks on our property;

3.  We have worked closely with the County to grant an easement and vacate an easement on the Overlee property;

4.  We have received three substantial bids from prospective general contractors and expect to make an award within the next couple of weeks;

5.  We have firmed up bank financing in line with our financing plan; and

6.  We have submitted permit applications to Arlington County.

The list could go on and on, and the achievement of each of these milestones has required considerable efforts on the part of the LRPC, the Board and RKtects Studio, the architects we retained for this project.  We are now in the final planning stages and much will depend on how quickly Arlington County acts on our permit applications.  While we had hoped to be further along at this time in the permit process, the scope and complexity of our project involves hundreds, if not thousands, of details that must be considered carefully.  With a little luck and the continued dedication on the part of many Overlee volunteers, we still expect "to break ground" and see all of our planning efforts come to fruition in the near future.  We will keep the membership posted once the construction schedule is set.  In the meantime, when you see Overlee with no apparent activity taking place, think of the duck on the water and rest assured that there is, in fact, a great deal of paddling is taking place beneath the tranquil surface.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Detailed Drawings

1005-BA101.pdf - Basement and Foundation Plan
1005-BA102.pdf - First Floor Plan
1005-BA103.pdf - Second Floor Plan
1005-BA201.pdf - Elevations
1005-BA202.pdf - More Elevations
1005-SA102.pdf - Gate House Plans
1005-SA106.pdf - Retaining Wall and Garden Park
1005-SA107.pdf - Terrace Plans

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Questions from Members and Answers from the Construction Committee

Regarding the site plan:  

I can't quite make out all of the features.   Specifically:   what is the thing that is adjacent to the existing front desk/bathhouse --- it's shaped like a keyhole, and I can't tell what the surrounding stuff is.  

[I think you're referring to the new smaller baby pool, which is required to have a walk-in entry. The stuff around it are proposed shade structures.]

How is the baby pool changing?  It looks rectangular, with some kind curved arc extending from it and I can't make sense of that either.

[We're actually building three new pools: the new, smaller baby pool that will be adjacent to the bathhouse (as mentioned above), a new social pool that will have a beach entry, underwater benches and splash features to replace the current tank pool, and a new main pool. I think the pool you're referring to in this paragraph is the new social pool. We expect it will become the new "pool of choice" for the post-toddler to senior bathers crowd.]

Here's a bunch of random questions:

Will the main pool be heated? 

[No. It's very, very expensive to heat a pool, esp. one as large and deep (in the dive well section) as the new main pool will be.  Thus, there are no plans to install a heater in the new main pool.  The lap pool (which does have a heater and is heated) will continue to be used for the extended season.]

Will there be a high dive or slide? 

[Probably yes to both, subject to cost and insurance considerations. Both of these items are in our plans at this point.]

Site Amenities

Is the bathhouse being renovated?

[No. For a variety of reasons, we're not touching the bathhouse or the lap pool during this renovation.]

Has there been consideration to add wifi?

[We have been discussing the audio/visual requirements of the new pool deck and clubhouse. Ultimately, the decision on whether to install a wifi system will fall to the Board. In years past, the Board has opted not to have wifi at Overlee due to a desire to maintain it as a recreational (and not outside office) site. It remains to be determined whether this philosophy will continue to prevail.]

Is the decking being replaced with trek or something else non-splintery?
Overlee Member at Arlington ER having very large deck splinter removed.

[Yes, the current plan is to replace the splintery wood with decking made of composite materials such as Trek.  Please note, however, that composite materials with prolonged exposure to the direct sun tend to get much hotter than natural wood, so there are trade-offs involved and we face a choice between decking may be too hot for people to walk on versus decking that may cause injuries of the kind shown in the photo.  As with many decisions relating to this project, there is no right answer (other than to continue to urge everyone to wear protective footwear on the decks).]

We've been trying to enjoy some dinners at the pool, but it's pretty sunny on the upper deck and crowded.   Does the new plan do anything to add more eating seating on the John Marshall side of the pool?  In the late afternoon/eve, that side gets the best shade, i think.

[The pool positions and clubhouse will be shifting toward Lee Hwy to maximize use of the site, especially with the zoning and set-back issues. There will be more deck space between the bathhouse and the main pool. Eating will remain near the clubhouse and the upper deck due to health code regulations. There will be significantly more space surrounding the clubhouse and the upper space. We are working hard to save trees in the open space so that there is some shade.]

Also -- will the new plans allow for use of the kitchen to pool goers?   As a mom trying to pack dinner for the family, I would be eternally grateful for access, at a minimum, to a microwave.

[Use of the kitchen is not a design issue but a management issue. However we are not anticipating access to a kitchen, microwave or refrigerator. We are striving to continue to have outdoor grills for use by the membership, even when a private or team event is going on. ]

Will the be any incorporation of a playground or sand lot?  It would keep the youngsters (esp. mine) out of the volleyball court.

[There will be a playground above the social pool a bit south of the new clubhouse (pretty much on the site of the existing clubhouse). We haven't decided what ground cover will be used or what playground equipment will be installed.]

It seems like there is a lot of wonderful park space that you don't really get to take advantage, either along John Marshall or behind the clubhouse because there is no access (except for special events).   Just wondering if new fencing or something could open up those areas to pool goers.

[The idea behind the new master site plan is to open up as much of the Overlee property as possible for use by Overlee members. There are limits to what we can do because of zoning and setback requirements, but you've identified one of the key goals driving the new plan.]

How about netting at the bottom of the ping ping area to keep those runaway balls in check? LOL -- playing with my 6 yr old, we spend more time chasing loose balls than getting it across the net :)

[Good idea; I know that area around and underneath the deck with the ping pong tables is a veritable graveyard for ping pong balls.]

Monday, May 16, 2011

Latest Set of Proposed Plans

The Long Range Planning Committee has been working with RKtects Studios, the architectural firm retained by Overlee to assist with the major renovation project, to refine the master site plan that was presented to and approved by the Overlee general membership at the annual meeting that was held on February 9, 2011. The latest master site plan can be viewed by clicking on this link: site plan. Since the February meeting, the changes to the master site plan have been driven primarily by two general factors: (1) the desire to preserve as many of the healthy mature trees on the Overlee property as possible based on an extensive tree survey and analysis performed by an arborist retained by Overlee, and (2) to comply with the latest applicable laws and regulations, namely those pertaining to handicapped access and storm and sewer management.

We have also posted on this same link draft exterior and floorplan designs for the new clubhouse. The exterior designs include a view of the proposed clubhouse from each of four directions. Although the designs are still in draft form and yet to be finalized, they incorporate many of the suggestions and comments that have been provided by members of the Overlee Board of Directors, the Long Range Planning Committee, and the Overlee community in general. Please direct any comments you might have concerning the clubhouse to or the renovation generally to

The entire set of proposed plans:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Construction Project Approved

At the Overlee Community Association's annual meeting on Wednesday, the membership approved moving forward with a renovation plan that will include a new main pool, tank and baby pools, a clubhouse, deck and terrace, and associated roads and landscaping improvements to the Association's property. The members present voted 55-4 to accept the recommendation [C-2] developed by the Association's Long Range Planning Committee and Board of Directors, committees comprised of volunteer Overlee members who devoted hundreds of hours to developing the proposal. The recommendation was discussed in a two-hour presentation and Q & A session prior to the vote. Materials discussing the recommendation were also available on the and had been discussed in membership meetings throughout the year. Overlee members are invited to check the Overlee blog frequently for information updates and to submit their questions, comments and ideas.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Master Plan Scope Summary and Budget

The following Master Plan Scope Summary and Budget was prepared by RKtects Studio, the architectural firm retained by Overlee to advise on the proposed capital project and develop alternative site plans, to summarize the key features of each of the three final site plan options considered by the Long Range Planning Committee (LPRC) and the preliminary total estimated cost of each. The Maintenance Upgrades option consists essentially of maintaining the status quo in terms of not changing the existing site plan, altering the location of individual features or adding any new amenities. Instead, the Maintenance Upgrades option contemplates replacing the main pool exactly as it currently is (i.e. same footprint, no additional features) and performing all of the long-deferred but now crucial maintenance and renovations on the existing clubhouse, decks, roads and parking lots, and addressing the drainage, retaining wall and fencing issues around the property as described in the Project Considerations presentation contained on this Overlee construction blog. Such presentation was made to Overlee members at the November 3, 2010, general membership meeting. Diagrams and accompanying descriptions of Scheme A/B-2 and Scheme C-2 can be found on this blog under the headings "Option A/B-2" and "Option C-2," respectively.

RKtects developed the cost estimates by applying the same standard industry unit cost measures to all three options, thus enabling the reader to make a high level "apples to apples" comparison of the relative projected costs of each scheme. However, two important caveats should be noted. First, the cost estimates are initial high level estimates that are intended more to serve comparative and scale purposes than as precise calculations of likely final actual costs. In this respect, the estimated cost of the selected option will be continually refined as the details of each aspect of the project are developed. Second and consistent with the first caveat, the cost estimates do not reflect the current favorable market conditions.

With these caveats in mind, the LRPC and the Overlee Board have relied on these preliminary cost estimates to arrive at certain general conclusions that have factored into the final selection of Scheme C-2 as the recommended option that will be presented to the Overlee membership for approval at the February 9, 2011, general membership meeting. First, Overlee will incur a substantial cost even if it does not alter its existing site plan at all and makes only the necessary replacement of the main pool and performs the long-deferred renovations and maintenance of the clubhouse and other features of the Overlee property. In some ways, the Maintenance Upgrades cost estimate masks the likely longer term aggregate costs of keeping the status quo due to the subsequent ongoing costs of retaining and maintaining certain aged facilities. Second, the option that involves the retention and renovation of a portion of the existing clubhouse (Scheme A/B-2) will result in a significantly higher cost than the option that calls for replacing the structure with a new single multi-story and multi-use building (Scheme C-2). Third, Overlee can, through a combination of savings, the levying of a special fee and borrowings, and the continued application of judicious financial management, afford invest in its future and adopt a new site plan that makes better use of its property and includes new pools, deck space and clubhouse with additional features and amenities in each. This will enable Overlee to better serve its members over the coming decades.

Click here for the Master Plan Scope Summary and Budget