City of Manassas, VA / Prince William County, VA / George Mason University

Prince William County,

Recreational Sports Center Feasibility Analysis

In 1998 B&D was retained as part of a team to complete a feasibility and pre-design study for a community recreational sports center located in Northern Virginia—the Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center. We defined the program requirements and projected the financial performance of the project, which was to be developed jointly by George Mason University, the City of Manassas, and Prince William County in Virginia. We completed a market study, including a demographic analysis, a survey of comparables, an evaluation of local facilities, and a survey analysis. We also developed a financial model and proposed several financing options. The result was a joint funding model and tripartite agreement among the three entities. The precision of our data allowed all the decision-makers to gain a thorough understanding of the project’s value, investment requirements, and risks. The 110,000 SF, $18.3 million center opened in 1999. Then in 2005, an opportunity arose that would allow the center to control adjacent land and expand the facility. We were once again retained to develop an interactive modeling tool that would allow an analysis of the capital and operating impacts of various new facility program elements. The use of this model resulted in a recommendation with the capacity to achieve financial balance under certain defined conditions. The committee was then prepared to engage in negotiations and confirm the extent of political and institutional will among the three entities.