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FY 19 DT Capital Improvements

It could be the biggest thing to happen at Dowden Terrace since our pool opened in 1957. I am writing on behalf of the Dowden Terrace Recreation Association Board to ask your help in making it happen.

You see, a property adjacent to Dowden Terrace is expected to go on the market this fall.

The sale presents us with a generational opportunity to expand Dowden Terrace, in size as well as in terms of amenities. It also presents an immediate financial challenge.

Expansion

Over recent years, we have invested in landscaping, baby pool improvements and other projects to squeeze more useable space out of Dowden Terrace’s slopes. Now there is only one way left for us to grow—if we’re going to grow—and it’s coming up for sale right now.

What specifically would we do with the property? The Board established a long-range planning sub-committee called DT2030, which will help guide the discussion for the future of Dowden Terrace. Many ideas have come up, just for this property alone, and that’s even before hearing yours. Better facility for lifeguards … lockers and shower stalls … lawn for picnics or parties … a kitchen enclosed on all sides … meeting room … weight room … yoga studio … party room to be reserved, rented out, or retreated to when thunder sounds.

Precise plans for the property will require your input and evolve over years. And that’s just the planning. A project of this scope will require several steps – submitting a competitive bid, hopefully closing the sale, pricing out improvement options, etc. We aren’t minimizing the time, effort, and money that will be involved.

But our focus for now is on an immediate, inescapable challenge.

Finances

The property hasn’t been listed, so an official asking price isn’t known yet. But high-$500s to mid-$600s seems likely, which would mean a down payment in the ballpark of $130,000—a pricey ballpark.

Although Dowden Terrace’s financial health is robust, we don’t have that sort of money sitting around. Which is why I am turning to you, along with all members, alumni, friends, and neighbors with this question:

Will you make an investment in the future of Dowden Terrace by supporting to the biggest capital improvement we’ve ever attempted?

I have no idea how much you might be willing to help. If some members step up with $100 or $200, it would be the latest example of our little pool community pulling together to get big things done.

If others show the way with $1,000 or $2,500 gifts, we would take bigger leaps toward our expanded, improved future Dowden Terrace. And if kids want to empty piggy banks to pitch in coins plucked from the pool during July 4th festivities, every contribution will be appreciated.

Whatever your level of contribution, we will gladly accept checks or you can use the DT Capital Improvements link on the DTPool.com site to donate electronically. Checks can be mailed to:

Dowden Terrace Recreation Association, PO Box 1051, Falls Church, VA 22041-0051 – please write “Capital Improvements” on the memo line.

This is big. You might have questions before pitching in on such a game-changing project for Dowden Terrace. Hopefully, you also have ideas on how to get it done faster and better.

So, please don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions and ideas: mwilker61@gmail.com. Board members Tyler Harding (tylerharding@gmail.com) and Tom Schweinefuss (thomasobx@hotmail.com) will also be happy to discuss the project with you. This item will be on the agenda at our August 18 All-Members meeting.

Whether we reach our immediate funding goal, or even if we don’t succeed in acquiring the property for whatever reason, Dowden Terrace members who contribute to this effort will have created a solid financial base for other needed capital improvements. However, if you prefer to go all-in on the property purchase specifically, you may request a refund of any donations made if the property purchase ultimately falls through.

Few Dowden Terrace members recall a property adjacent to the pool ever being on the market. Chances are few of us will ever see it happen again.

I am excited about this opportunity, and eager to have your help in making the most of it.

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