The National Park Service, in conjunction with Arlington County, has proposed to build a new boathouse along the Potomac just across from Georgetown. Comment is open until July 30th on the plan.
This proposal calls for two buildings along the channel behind Roosevelt Island. As reported by ARLNow, the Park Service considered two locations, the Roosevelt Island site and Gravelly Point by the airport, and chose the former. Here is a map of the preferred alternative:
The proposal calls for a 14,000 square foot boat storage facility with a floating dock along the river. Uphill and on the other side of the GW Parkway is a second building that will provide showers, lockers, etc. The facilities would primarily be used for rowing, however it is anticipated that canoes and other paddled boats would be available for rent by the public as well.
If built this would provide much needed facilities for DC area rowers. And it would specifically benefit Arlington high school rowers especially. Currently Washington & Lee rowers row out of Potomac Boat Club (full disclosure: GM is a member of PBC), Wakefield High School rows out of the Anacostia Community Boathouse on the Anacostia River, and Yorktown High School uses Thompson Boat Center. Presumably all three high schools would relocate to the new boathouse.
One thing this plan does not address is the other long stalled plans for more boathouses near the Key Bridge. NPS seems to have let those plans go completely to seed. It is hoped that the Arlington plans won’t face a similar threat.
The project website is here. As mentioned above, if you have any comments, you have until July 30th to submit them. GM’s only thought is that the channel behind Roosevelt Island is actually considered too hazardous to row on. Mostly this is because of some dangerous rock formations that become submerged by the river often. One of those rock formations is about twenty feet in front of the proposed structure. It would be preferable if they were removed before boat traffic increases much in this corner of the river.