Construction of a 50-meter pool at Burke Centre in the Commons neighborhood, referred to last week in an article on Starlit Swim Club, will not begin until sometime in 1984, according to Burke Centre Conservancy Executive Director Richard A. Arbore. Arbore also indicated that a contract with Starlit to use pool facilities in Burke Centre has not yet been signed. According to Starlit Head Coach Holger Dietze, Starlit is continuing its negotiations with Burke Centre and anticipates working out a plan that will put the team into the 25-meter pools by this fall.
The Starlit Swim Club, one of the top-ranked swimming clubs in the nation, will take its 220 swimmers and move in September to a new indoor swimming complex in Burke, leaving its longtime home in Fairfax City, assistant Starlit coach Susan Teeter has confirmed.
The Starlit Athletic Center, which includes two pools, some tennis courts and until three years ago a golf course, is tentatively scheduled to be sold next summer to an Arlington church, according to William Torpey, a spokesman for the owners of the 15-acre property.
The sale is conditioned on the church, Barcroft Bible Church, obtaining the necessary variances from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to build a church on the land, Torpey said. The Starlit property, at 9401 Little River Turnpike, is on the eastern edge of Fairfax City, opposite the Fair City Mall shopping center. The land is zoned residential.
While the sale to the church could be concluded this summer, Torpey said swimming clubs using the Starlit pool would be allowed to use the complex until the end of next July, when most clubs' seasons end. Two other large swim clubs, Curl and Solotar, recently began using the Starlit pool along with their famous competitor under a leasing agreement that apparently angered the Starlit club.
Starlit, ranked 10th in the nation after this spring's senior national championships--ninth at the juniors--began looking for a new home when the competing clubs began using the pool, Teeter said.
It will keep the name Starlit (the name of the athletic center) and will be known as Starlit of Burke Center when it moves into a new 50-meter indoor pool complex under construction in Burke Center.
"Burke sounds a long way away," Teeter said, "but actually it's under four miles from here, and we expect very few kids will leave the club" because of the move.
Most of the team's members apparently are happy to be moving.
"We're all very excited," said Sheryl Brosseau, who came to Starlit 12 years ago just when the club acquired its nationally prominent coach Holger Dietze.
Dietze was in Colorado Springs last week working with swimmers at the U.S. Olympic training camp.
Brosseau, now 21, is like many Starlit swimmers--returning from college to work towards the summer outdoor national swimming championships in August.
"My heart's with the Starlit Club and I'd hate to see them leave," said James R. Brock, who operated the Starlit golf course with partner Torpey. He also ran the swim club for two years and last year subleased it to Rick Curl, who operates the Curl Swim Club. "Starlit has some of the best swimming talent in the mid-Atlantic region. It's one of the top 10 clubs in the nation. . . . I heard rumors, but I didn't know they were actually going to leave."