Recreation and aquatic center planned for Silver Spring

Alex Shifflett from KGD Architecture presents the revised Elizabeth Square plan. Photo by Mike Diegel.

A 120,000-square-foot regional recreation and aquatic center highlights a revised plan for a new complex in downtown Silver Spring.

Elizabeth Square will be built in the area bordered by Fenwick Lane, Second Avenue, Apple Avenue and the Metro right-of-way.

The plan, presented yesterday to the Silver Spring Urban District Advisory Board, calls for mixed-use development with retail and residential units including workforce, affordable and senior housing, along with the recreational facilities.

“It’s a significant regional facility, not just for the local neighborhood like some of our other community and neighborhood centers,” said Greg Ossont, deputy director of the Department of General Services.

The County Council recently approved a supplemental appropriation of $3.8 million to fund the initial design phase, he said, and the county executive’s new budget proposal includes the balance for what’s expected to be about a $40 million project.

The revised preliminary plan has been approved by the Planning Department, said Alex Shifflett, an associate with KGD Architecture, who presented the design plan.

“We’re currently working on a program of requirements to figure out what exactly [the county] wants in the buildings,” she added.

The revised plan includes:

  • An 11-lane competition pool with therapy pool, leisure pool, sauna and spas;
  • Gymnasium with high-school size basketball court a space for badminton, pickleball and volleyball;
  • Social hall with teaching kitchen;
  • Activity and meeting rooms;
  • Artist work and display space;
  • Family play area;
  • Fitness area with exercise rooms; and
  • Café.

The complex also will house the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame and a senior source center run by Holy Cross Hospital.

The new complex will replace the existing Elizabeth House and Alexander House and add another building. The Housing Opportunities Commission made a deal to expand onto the neighboring Fenwick Professional Park property currently owned by Lee Development Group. HOC will own and operate the complex.

Elizabeth House III will be 15 stories with 277 housing units, Elizabeth House IV will include 330 units in 19 stories, while the rebuilt Alexander House will be 17 stories with 311 units.

According to Mel Tull with LDG, the plan is to break ground late in 2017 and have the complex complete and open sometime in 2020.

Mike Diegel

Co-Founder/Editor at Source of the Spring
Mike Diegel, a founding member of Source of the Spring, is a Silver Spring advocate who has been appointed by the county executive to several committees and task forces. He currently is a member of the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee. His background is in journalism and he earned a bachelor of arts in communications from McDaniel College. He is self-employed as a communications consultant and is an active volunteer with Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue. He has lived for more than 20 years in Northwood/Four Corners with his wife Trish and multiple Great Pyrenees dogs. He is better known around Silver Spring as the Guy with the Big White Dogs.
Recreation and aquatic center planned for Silver Spring