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For Immediate Release: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by County Council President Andrew Friedson, the County’s Department of General Services (DGS), Montgomery County Recreation, the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and Holy Cross Health today to host the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center (SSRAC).

Located in the heart of the Silver Spring Central Business District, the 120,000 square foot SSRAC offers recreation and leisure activities, including pools designed for general swimming, low level diving, exercise, aquatic play, training and teaching opportunities. The facility also features a gymnasium, fitness center, movement and dance studios, multipurpose activity rooms, staff offices, a teaching kitchen, café, a new home for the Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame, public use space and social space.

“The Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center will be a great addition for Silver Spring,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The residents of downtown Silver Spring and nearby communities have been looking forward to the opening of this facility, and I think they will be impressed with the amenities and activities there. This is the first County recreation center in downtown Silver Spring and offers a variety of ways for residents to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I want to thank our General Services and Recreation Departments for creating this beautiful, eco-friendly facility. We invite residents to take full advantage of everything the center has to offer.”

One of DGS’ largest construction projects within the last five years, the opening of the Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center marks a significant milestone for the County. The combination of a recreation center, indoor natatorium and community space all under one roof, along with an affordable housing high-rise building, makes this a challenging, highly unique project for DGS, and the first of its kind for Montgomery County.

“Our team has been working tirelessly to get this first of its kind center ready for our community,” said Montgomery County Recreation Director Robin Riley. “We have hosted engaging opportunities for Silver Spring residents to provide their ideas and feedback, participated in and hosted outreach events to raise awareness and continue to work hard to develop and implement programming for residents of all ages and abilities. We are thrilled that the day is finally here for us to be able to open this center and see people using the pools, fitness room, gymnasium, social hall, community lounge and more, every single day.”

A variety of programming at the Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center will be free for County residents, however, some classes and programs at the facility have a fee and pool access requires paid admission or a membership. County residents are encouraged to sign up for a free RecFit pass for access to the fitness room, open gym/drop-in activities and the game room.

The SSRAC will be a flagship facility for the County, providing the highest quality swim, athletic and multipurpose spaces to the residents of Montgomery County.  The four-story public recreation space is located adjacent to Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC)'s fifteen-story senior apartment building, earning from 30 to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI).  HOC is the owner and the developer of both structures. The entire complex is more than 419,000 square feet.

“The Housing Opportunities Commission is thrilled with the opening of the Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center, which is a major component of HOC’s transformational Elizabeth Square complex,” said Chelsea Andrews, HOC President. “The SSRAC, together with the adjacent Leggett senior housing building and Holy Cross Health Center, will help invigorate the entire Silver Spring community and provide direct access to state-of-the-art recreational and healthcare amenities.”

Holy Cross Health will operate Holy Cross Health Partners at Elizabeth Square on the second floor of The Leggett. The practice will include primary medical care supplemented with health education and fitness programs to promote self-care and enhance well-being.  Services are available to residents of The Leggett as well as the broader community.

“Holy Cross Health is committed to providing health care that is accessible to our whole community,” said Holy Cross Health Network President Annice Codey. “We recognize that the most important contributor to health is how people live their daily lives. Our focus must remain on improving the health of our patients, which is enhanced by our proximity to the recreation center, senior housing and Metro. Holy Cross Health has a long-standing relationship with Montgomery County Recreation. It is an honor to continue working together to support self-care through educational programs that enhance well-being.”

The Silver Spring facility features a state-of-the-art building enclosure with triple glazed windows in the natatorium to reduce building energy consumption, occupancy and daylight-saving equipment to reduce power consumption, special air filtration to absorb and exhaust chlorinated air within the pool area, as well as soundproof windows to block passing train noise along the west side of the building. The recreation and aquatic center includes an aesthetic plant-covered “green roof” extension designed to improve air quality, retain rainwater to moderate stormwater runoff and prolong the service life of the building’s HVAC systems through decreased use.

The SSRAC has earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED green building rating system is globally recognized as a symbol of sustainability achievement, with Gold being the second highest ranking a facility can earn.

Fighting climate change is one of County Executive Elrich’s signature initiatives. The County’s Climate Action Plan includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions Countywide 80 percent by 2027 and achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, all while prioritizing racial equity, social justice and public health.

The DGS Division of Building Design and Construction managed construction of the Silver Spring Recreation and Aquatic Center, with participation from Montgomery County Recreation. KGD Architects served as the architect of the facility, with Costello Construction, Inc. as construction contractor. The construction cost for the building was $72 million.

For more information about the SSRAC, visit the Montgomery Recreation website.

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Release ID: 24-091
Media Contact: Monika Hammer 240-463-2442
Categories: Recreation