Category Archives: Parks and Recreation

Fundraising goal met to light up McIntire Skate Park

A public-private partnership to relocate a skate park removed for road construction resulted in a new facility in McIntire Park opening in 2019. But until now, there have been no lights due to budget cuts to the project made to get it completed. 

This morning the city announced a fundraising goal has been met and lights will be installed by mid-September. When in place, the park will stay open until 10 p.m. 

“The lights are LED fixtures from MUSCO Lighting, chosen for their low-light pollution, energy use, heat emission, and longevity,” reads a press release

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Lifeguards still sought for summer season

Memorial Day Weekend is less than three weeks away, marking the beginning of the summer outdoor swimming season. Both Albemarle and Charlottesville are preparing to open lakes and pools and need more lifeguards to ensure services can be offered to the public. 

The Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department will hold a job fair at Carver Recreation Center on Wednesday May 18 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. that will cover more than just lifeguards.

“A sample of positions that are currently open include: camp counselors and directors, lifeguards (includes signing bonus), aquatic fitness and program instructors, instructor-American Red Cross, athletic officials, landscapers, custodial maintenance, aquatic maintenance, adaptive camp staff, customer service attendants, and more,” reads the website announcing the job fair

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Albemarle Board adopts $586.3 million budget

Stalemate continues on synthetic turf fields 

The Albemarle Board of Supervisors took eight actions yesterday to complete the process of development and adopting a budget for FY23. They began with the tax rates. (view the presentation)

“We have the real estate, mobile homes and public service tax rate of 85.4 cents (per $100 of assessed value) that is the calendar year 2022 rate,” said Andy Bowman, chief of the Office of Management and Budget in Albemarle. “For personal property rate, which also applies to machinery and tool taxes, the current rate is currently $4.28 cents per $100 and it is proposed to be reduced to $3.22 per $100 of assessed value.” 

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City to remove dead trees

The biological war between the Emerald Ash Borer and ash trees is still being waged, but it’s very much in the favor of the invasive species. That’s been confirmed by the city’s new urban forester, Steve Gaines.

“The beetle larvae tunnel under the bark, and damage nutrient and water flow throughout the tree – basically girdling the tree,” Gaines said in email Friday afternoon. “Once infested, the trees usually die within 2-5 years after initial infection.”

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Charlottesville Parks and Recreation still seeking lifeguards; no date yet for Smith reopening

This week, Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board got an update on preparations underway to get the city’s pools and spraygrounds ready. 

“We are currently still developing our operational hours and what that’s going to look like at our outdoor facilities,” said Gator Batton is the interim manager of aquatics for the department. “The goal is to open Washington Park, Onesty, and Smith.” 

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Parks update: No date yet for Smith Aquatic Center

Contractor sought to operate Onesty Pool

Charlottesville’s Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center has been closed for nearly two years, but not all of that is related to the pandemic. When everything shut down in March of 2020, the facility had been expected to be closed for at least $1.8 million in repairs to try to finally fix lingering air quality issues. Smith had been expected to open back up last year, but the work wasn’t complete. The goal is for it to open this spring. Vic Garber is the deputy director of the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department. 

“We are still working diligently with facilities maintenance to make sure that all of the boxes are checked and to make sure that once we open that darned thing it is going to be safe, it is going to be a good experience, and I would like to say a magical experience,” Garber said. 

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Further delays for Smith Aquatic Center

January 3 had been the expected reopening day for the Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville, but further repair is needed for the facility which opened in 2010. However, a release that went out this morning now states that Smith will remain closed until a “spring 2022 reopening.”

Smith has been plagued with ventilation issues since soon after it opened. According to a 2015 Daily Progress article, the facility closed for several weeks in 2015 for installation of new exhaust systems. The pool closed again in April 2019 for repairs and was slated to be closed in the spring of 2020 for a $1.8 million repair that has not yet been completed. 

Crow Indoor Pool is open.

Further delays for Smith Aquatic Center

January 3 had been the expected reopening day for the Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville, but further repair is needed for the facility which opened in 2010. However, a release that went out this morning now states that Smith will remain closed until a “spring 2022 reopening.”

Smith has been plagued with ventilation issues since soon after it opened. According to a 2015 Daily Progress article, the facility closed for several weeks in 2015 for installation of new exhaust systems. The pool closed again in April 2019 for repairs and was slated to be closed in the spring of 2020 for a $1.8 million repair that has not yet been completed. 

Crow Indoor Pool is open.

Virginia Supreme Court clears way for Confederate Statue removal

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled that Charlottesville can remove two Confederate statues in city parks that were erected in the early 1920’s. In February  2017, Council voted to remove statues of two Confederate generals and were soon sued by a group who argued the statues were protected war memorials under a law that passed the General Assembly in 1997. A Charlottesville Circuit Court judge backed them up the plaintiffs in an October 2019 ruling.  

“It has long been the law of the Commonwealth that retroactive application of statutes disfavored,” reads the opinion.

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Council asked to reopen city pools

Last week, the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board sent a letter requesting a plan to safely reopen facilities and pools. City Manager Chip Boyles gave an update.

“Parks and Recreation has a schedule and a plan for beginning to open up facilities and activities for the summer,” Boyles said. “Baseball fields are already receiving some league play and with two weekends of activity we are reporting 100 percent compliance review for the safety measures by both among the participants, the players and spectators.” 

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