Construction to begin on McLean Central Park upgrades in March

Nearly two years after updating its vision for the future of McLean Central Park, the Fairfax County Park Authority is ready to start work on some of the planned upgrades.

Imperio Construction, a Delaware-based company contracted by the park authority, began mobilizing on the site at 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd this week, and active construction is expected to start during the first week of March.

“Residents should expect occasional construction traffic entering and exiting Dolley Madison,” the park authority said in a news release. “While portions of the park will be closed throughout the duration of the construction, access for tennis court and basketball court usage will remain open.”

The revitalization project will replace the park’s playgrounds with new, accessible equipment partially funded by community donations. After the FCPA shared initial plans to only update the school-age playground, local parents formed the McLean Central Playground Team and raised approximately $400,000 to also overhaul the tot lot.

The school-age playground will be moved to the same general area as the tot lot, which will be enclosed with a fence. In addition to getting more modern and inclusive equipment, the facilities will feature more seating and poured-in-place rubber safety surfacing.

Other upcoming improvements will include the addition of a pavilion and new walkways, along with any repairs to existing walkways that are needed so pedestrians can reach all facilites in the park.

“Additionally, benches will be replaced throughout the park and pedestrian lights will be relocated to improve the overall park experience,” FCPA spokesperson Benjamin Boxer said.

According to Boxer, the new pavilion will be open to the public and available for private rentals. It could also serve as an occasional performance venue for the McLean Community Center, which is adjacent to McLean Central Park and currently utilizes a gazebo there.

Building on a master plan from 2013, the park authority unveiled a development concept for McLean Central Park in 2021 that called for a dog park, amphitheater and recreational facilities, including a fitness area and bocce and game tables. The dog park was dropped from the proposal after some community members objected to losing a tennis court to make room for the amenity.

The revised concept was finalized in 2022 after a public meeting on March 2 and a one-month comment period.

The FCPA says it anticipates that active construction on the playgrounds, pavilion and walkways will finish by the end of 2024.

Concept plan via Fairfax County Park Authority

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