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Del Ray park moving forward with lead artist chosen

Layout of Del Ray Gateway park, via City of Alexandria

Plans for a new fountain and “splash park” at the north end of Del Ray are moving forward as the city aims to have design finished by the end of the year.

The Del Ray Gateway project is a plan to redevelop a triangular park where Mount Vernon and Commonwealth Avenues meet into a water-based community play area.

At a meeting of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, Diane Ruggiero, director of the Office of the Arts, said that an artist had been chosen for the park. Ruggiero said Béatrice Coron was selected from a group of 73 applicants.

“The sprayground will have a multi-seasonal, multi-generation use,” Ruggiero said. “We want to make sure the artwork is kid friendly and we want the artwork to serve a functional purpose.”

Splash parks, or spray parks, are parks with built-in jets of water that children can run through and play in.

“I love her work, I’m excited about this,” said Commissioner Beth Coast. “It’s about time Alexandria has a spray park. I used to drive my kids to Arlington, but now they’re 17 and they don’t need a spray park.”

Construction on the park is scheduled to start in 2022, and Ruggiero said for any with more immediate splash park needs could go to the Potomac Yard park that opened earlier this year.

“This will be a great addition to the community, the community is really excited about it,” Ruggiero said, “and this will be our first piece of artwork by a woman.”

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