New RCC Facility Won’t Go to Referendum in 2015

Reston Community CenterReston Community Center will not send the idea of a new indoor recreational facility to a community referendum in 2015, RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon said.

RCC’s Board of Governors has been discussing since February 2013 the idea of adding a new recreation center with a 50-meter indoor pool

RCC’s current indoor pool, at Hunters Woods, is more than 35 years old and need of modernization, the board of governors says.

The pros and cons have been debated at a series of sometimes contentious community meetings. A feasibility study by Brailsford & Dunlavey, completed in 2013, said the facility would cost about $30-40 million if RCC built it on land donated by the Fairfax County Park Authority at Baron Cameron Park.

Last June, the park authority approved changes to the Baron Cameron Park Master Plan, incorporating the rec center as a future option at the 68-acre park.

The board is also considering the area known as Town Center North as a potential site.

RCC is not in position to have a referendum this year, Gordon said, because county planning for Town Center North has not been completed.

“The RCC Board of Governors affirmed in its meetings on Jan. 9 and 10 that we continue to pursue the best options for the community to realize both of our facility priorities: an indoor rec center/aquatics facility and a performing arts venue,” said Gordon. “We established with the community and with the county our studies’ outcomes that the only two suitable locations at present to pursue for indoor recreation are Reston Town Center North and Baron Cameron Park.”

“Given that the County’s planning for Reston Town Center North hasn’t concluded yet, we won’t be in a position to put any type of bond referendum question related to either facility on a November, 2015 ballot,” she said.

Gordon also said RCC will “aggressively seek other contributions” to get the facilities built. That money would likely come from developer proffers and partnerships.

The cost of the proposed rec center and concern that residents of Small Tax District 5 (Reston) would have to foot the bill have been among the biggest concerns from residents. Many who live in the Baron Cameron Park area are also concerned about traffic and noise.

It will cost RCC $75,000 to conduct the referendum, which would determine if the community is in favor of building the new facility.

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