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County Begins Planning for New Reston Library

by Karen Goff February 18, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,368 3 Comments

Reston Regional LibraryNow that the new Fairfax County North County Government Center is getting ready to open on Cameron Glen Drive, the county is taking initial steps to start the process for a new Reston Regional Library as part of the makeover of Town Center North.

Tentative plans for a new library in Reston have been in place since 2012, when voters approved a $25 million library bond, with $10 million of it allocated for a new Reston Regional Library.

The remaining money will fund renovations at Pohick Regional, John Marshall Community and Tysons Pimmit Regional libraries.

A new library plan is set to proceed despite a tumultuous last few years for the county library system. Critics have pointed out that the Fairfax system spends less per capita than any other surrounding jurisdiction; has been caught discarding books rather than recirculating them; slashed its budget; and nearly went ahead with a “beta plan” at Reston Regional and Burke libraries that would have cut staff and resources.

In the County Executive’s FY 2016 Advertised Budget, announced on Tuesday, Fairfax County Public Libraries will receive $27,612,745 —  about 7.7 percent less than in 2015.

A new plan is still in the works, though. Reston Citizens Association group Reston 2020 recently obtained the timeline for the process. Some of the details:

The new library was included in the Comprehensive Plan Amendment that was approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in 2014.

The county is expected to rebuild the library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter on its current 6-acre site on Bowman Towne Drive, called “Blocks 7 and 8” in county documents.

The county is expected to issue a Request for Proposals from companies interested in developing the new library. The RFP will go through June 2015.

The county is expected to select a developer in September 2015.

Proposals will be for the library and shelter, as well as “additional county uses,” according to the documents.

The RFP will also determine “highest and best use of the land,” in keeping with the Reston Master Plan and construction costs, among other details.

The project will then go through a rezoning, as well as approval process by the county planning commission and board of supervisors.

Last week, a land deal was announced that will allow the Fairfax County Park Authority build a 90,000-square-foot recreation facility at Reston Town Center North, pending public hearings, a park authority board vote and procurance of millions of dollars for construction.

Part of the deal also includes a 2.6-acre Town Greene to be built on the same block as the new North County Government Center on Fountain Drive.

The Reston comprehensive plan amendment says the Town Center North area is “planned for up to a .90 FAR for non-residential uses, which should include office, public, institutional, medical care, hotel, and retail uses, and a minimum of 1,000 residential units. The public uses may include public safety uses, libraries, shelters, schools, a recreation center, government offices, a performing arts center, and institutions of  higher education.”

  • Ming the Merciless

    Lets focus on expanding the free computer access for teens and the homeless, and throw out more of those musty old books. We don’t want Reston residents getting too uppity with all their book-learning, do we?

  • Paulette Lincoln-Baker

    So what do Reston residents do for library services when this rebuilding starts? What is the plan, folks?

  • Guest

    Ahhh! A new library without any books at the rate the County is throwing them out these days. That should be interesting!

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