Southern Area Aquatic & Recreation Complex

Project Description


The Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex (SAARC) is the first Multi-Generational Community Recreational Center in Prince George’s County. The 75,000 square-foot project includes a natatorium, a gymnasium, a fitness room and flexible programmable space. It is being constructed on property owned by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) – Brandywine Area Park – located just north of the intersection of Missouri Avenue and Brandywine Road. Future phases of parkland development may include additional site amenities, an expansion of the natatorium, and additional recreation space to accommodate performing arts and ceramic arts.

Current Milestone Schedule


SAARC Milestone Schedule as of 11/09/2017

Graphic of Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex through 2019

Project Status


In construction phase. The cost of the construction work is $36,700,000.

Next Steps


The project is currently under construction. Construction progress photos will be posted monthly.

Project History


On September 18, 2013, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission adopted Prince George’s County’s first comprehensive plan for parks, recreation and open space, commonly referred to as Formula 2040: Functional Master Plan for Parks, Recreation and Open Space. This Plan provides policies to guide the planning of future parks, recreational facilities and programs and maintenance service facilities, as well as the rehabilitation and modernization of existing park and recreation facilities.

A key recommendation of Formula 2040 is to move from the current model of building small, less than 10,000 square-foot community centers to constructing larger, multi-neighborhood-serving community centers or “multi-generational community centers,” as referenced in The Plan. Multi-generational facilities provide an array of programs, simultaneously, to serve the recreation and leisure needs and interests of an entire family.

According to the service standards defined in Formula 2040, there is a need for additional recreational and aquatic facilities within the Southern Area of Prince George’s County. As a result, the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation has initiated plans to develop the county’s first multi-generational recreation facility -- The Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

Planning Phase


Planning Phase - (2011 - 2013)
Beginning in Winter 2011, the Department of Parks and Recreation conducted several public forums and community surveys to determine where the recreational facility should be built and which recreational programs to offer. The result was the public’s expressed interest for a “combination center” with aquatic and recreational components.

Soon thereafter, Parks and Recreation staff developed a Feasibility Study/Business Plan for a multi-generational community center. The study included market and demographic analyses, competitor assessments, core program identification, site and facility building space programs, cost estimates, and strategies for revenue enhancement (see process graphic below).

Extensive community participation was key during the feasibility study development process. Delegate James Proctor (Legislative District 27A), and former County Council Chairman Mel Franklin worked with the Department of Parks and Recreation to form a Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex Community Advisory Committee. This group provided invaluable feedback concerning the design, construction, and future operation of the Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex.

SAARC Feasibility Study Development Process:
Graphic of Feasibility Study Process for Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex

Criteria Documents Phase


Criteria Documents - (August 2013 - August 2014)
The types of spaces and the use of those spaces were developed during the Criteria Documents Phase culminating in detailed architectural drawings, descriptions of floor plans, elevations and exteriors of buildings, building performance criteria, and a site plan. Throughout the criteria documents development process, Parks and Recreation staff provided critical analyses and input concerning the projected operational needs for the facility. These documents were used in the Design/Build procurement phase to help determination a scope of services during solicitation of the Design/Build firm.

Design/Build Procurement Phase


Design/Build Procurement - (November 2014 - March 2015)
It was determined that the final design and ultimate construction of the Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex would follow the Design/Build project delivery method.

In June 2014, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Department of Parks and Recreation, issued a Request for Expressions of Interests (REOI # 34-163) for Design/Build services for the Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex. This procurement method allowed staff to review the qualifications of potential firms prior to submittal of development proposals.

After evaluating responses to the REOI, M-NCPPC short-listed three Design/Build firms and requested detailed proposals from each one.

After evaluating each submitted RFP Bid, M-NCPPC selected Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc. as the Design/Builder of Record. Coakley & Williams Construction has extensive experience in the design/build delivery of recreation community centers, including the Rosedale and Bald Eagle Recreation Centers, the Fort McNair Fitness Center, and the Gonzaga High School Athletic facilities, all in the District of Columbia. Hughes Group Architects will be the architect of record as a subcontractor to Coakley & Williams Construction.

Design/Build Phase


In March 2016, the Design/Build Phase of the project began with the validation of the Design. A public meeting was held, May 10, 2016.

Graphic Artist rendering of Southern Area Aquatic and Recreation Complex

Additional Information


For more information, please call M-NCPPC staff at 301-699-2255.