The iconic, yet temperamental, sports “bubble” adjacent to Gunston Middle School will soon be replaced by a barn-like framed structure that will provide more reliability and accessibility, Arlington government officials said.
County Board members have approved a contract worth up to $866,800 for installation of the new Clear Span frame-supported fabric structure, which had been purchased previously. IMEC Group LLC was the lowest bidder among five seeking the installation contract.
The 24-year-old bubble “has reached the end of its useful lifespan,” county staff said. It long has been showing its age, needing to be closed during the hottest summer periods or when wind or snow build-up impaired operations.
The replacement project has long been in the works, estimated for completion last year, but was among those derailed by the COVID crisis.
The total project budget is about $1.3 million, mostly coming from funds approved by voters in a previous park-bond referendum.