Patrick Henry Recreation Center Project

Information on the new Patrick Henry Recreation Center.

Page updated on May 8, 2021 at 8:19 AM

Patrick Henry Recreation Center Final Site Conditions

ACPS will use the old Patrick Henry school building as a swing space during the modernization of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, as approved by the school board on April 4, 2019. As a result, the final site conditions will not be realized until summer 2023. The status of the school and recreation center site amenities are as follows:

  •  Recreation Center Tot Lot - open to the public
  • Outdoor Basketball Court - open to the public
  • Intermediate Playground - partial open to the public
  • Outdoor Fitness Equipment - closed to the public until final inspection report received
  • Synthetic Turf Rectangular Field and softball overlay - on hold until summer 2023 

For additional information, visit the ACPS Swing Space project page

Patrick Henry Recreation Center Now Open

The new recreation center opened to the public on January 22 and operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with additional opportunity for prescheduled use on Saturday evenings and Sundays.

The new Patrick Henry Recreation Center has 19,000 square feet of dedicated recreation space including indoor running or walking lanes, a flex court with full size basketball, volleyball and Pickle Ball courts, multipurpose rooms for senior programming, community classes and meetings and expanded out of school time programs, and dedicated arts and crafts, exercise and fitness and soft play rooms. 

The school and recreation center share an additional 12,000 square feet, including a black box theatre, full-size gymnasium and an additional multipurpose room.

Patrick Henry Fitness Room        Patrick Henry Flex Court        Patrick Henry Multipurpose Room

Staff Recommendation for Programming a New Patrick Henry Recreation Center 

Based on the needs assessments, findings from the community process, and the cost estimates provided through the Recreation Center Feasibility Study, staff recommends that the City continue to work with ACPS on a site plan/design option that includes a level of programming consistent with a Neighborhood Recreation Center based on the following:

  • Provides sufficient space for school and after school related programming;
  • Potential program offerings provided under the Neighborhood Recreation Center address needs identified in the 2008 Patrick Henry study, 2013 Citywide Recreation & Parks Needs Assessment, the 2014 Patrick Henry Recreation Center Needs Assessment, and findings from the June 2015 online survey;
  • The Neighborhood Recreation Center model is most similar to other recreation centers (Mount Vernon, Cora Kelly and Ramsay) that successfully provide programs within their neighborhoods;
  • The Neighborhood Recreation Center cost estimate for design and construction is within the current $6.8 million budget proposed in the FY 2016-FY 2025 CIP; and
  • The Neighborhood Recreation Center provides programming options for users beyond the school children/families, thus expanding the public benefit of the capital investment. 
    • Staff Recommendation Memo - June 17, 2015
      Members of the community are encouraged to attend the Park & Recreation Commission Public Hearing to provide comment on staff's recommendation. Individuals who are unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments until 5 p.m. on June 17 via email to

Process & Project Timeline

Patrick Henry Recreation Center Feasibility Study 

In conjunction with a joint feasibility study with the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA) is evaluating alternatives for redevelopment of the existing Patrick Henry Recreation Center. The goal of this evaluation is to ensure the plan for a new facility responds programmatically to both the current community’s needs, as well as the future needs related to a projected increase in enrollment at the school. The first phase of the feasibility study showed that the shared school and recreation site can accommodate a new recreation center that meets broad community needs for parks and recreation. RPCA is now seeking additional community input regarding a range of potential programming models to determine the appropriate facility needs. Download the Spring 2015 Patrick Henry Recreation Center Project Update for additional information.

DRAFT Patrick Henry Recreation Center Feasibility Study

In conjunction with review of programming options with the public, the consultant team, Sorg Architects, provided a Draft Patrick Henry Recreation Center Feasibility Study. The draft is not final, but includes information about the different building options and cost estimation for the project. The consultant included the Neighborhood Recreation Center and Community Recreation Facility options in this draft of the feasibility study. The City is also considering a School Centered Recreation Center which is accommodated in the Neighborhood Recreation Center option through the elimination of the flexible use court. The School Centered Recreation Center is not analyzed in this draft of the feasibility study because it is based on the current after school/summer camp programming provided at Patrick Henry, however, details on this option will be provided in the final draft. 

Any site plans shown in the draft feasibility study are for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect a site decision for the School or Recreation Center.

Consultants and staff will continue to work to prepare a final study based on community feedback. The Park and Recreation Commission will hold a Public Hearing on the staff’s recommended option on June 18 (staff report and survey findings will be available on June 16).

Park and Recreation Commission Public Hearing

The Alexandria Park and Recreation Commission will hold a public hearing on the staff recommendation for the programming alternative for the new Patrick Henry Recreation Center on Thursday, June 18, 7 p.m., at the Patrick Henry Recreation Center, 4625 Taney Ave. After discussion on the staff recommendation, the Commission will hear comments from the public.

City Council Legislative Meeting

June 23, 2015: City Hall, 301 King St. at 7 p.m.