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Bow Creek Recreation Center

Kimley-Horn provided engineering, surface water, and stormwater management services for the new Bow Creek Recreation Center in Virginia Beach, VA

Spanning 12 acres, the state-of-the-art, LEED-certified Bow Creek Recreation Center offers Virginia Beach residents 70,000 square feet of fitness, recreation, and community activities. Kimley-Horn provided engineering services for the replacement and modernization of the center as well as the replacement of golf course facilities that support the Bow Creek Golf Course.

The Kimley-Horn team was required to take a unique approach to stormwater management—involving the design and construction of a relocated stream and constructed wetlands that treat the onsite stormwater and a substantial area of offsite stormwater that flows through the site. Prior to development, a series of small ditches and storm pipes carrying 114 acres of drainage traversed the site adjacent to and underneath parking lots. The team was able to daylight this system and the result was a 1.2-acre constructed wetland with deep and shallow pools, multiple cells, several wetland benches, a fountain, and two bridges that now serves as an amenity to the site and the community.

The redevelopment of the Recreation Center required 5 lbs./year of phosphorus removal to meet City and State requirements. The resulting constructed wetland provided 40 lbs./year, providing the City with 35 lbs./year of additional removal that could be used to offset other City projects or meet the City’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) goals.

This project serves as a prime example of how public development projects can integrate into design retrofits of stormwater management infrastructure to assist the City in their Chesapeake Bay TMDL compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is one of the first projects to use this approach for multiple outcomes for the City of Virginia Beach.

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