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Reston Association Starting After-School Care at Lake House

by Karen Goff April 29, 2016 at 2:45 pm 31 Comments

Former Tetra buildingReston Association is gearing up for its first programming at the Lake House, formerly known as the Tetra Building.

RA will open registration next week for “RA Fit Kids” after-school care for the 2016-17 school year. RA spokesman Mike Leone says there are spots for 50 elementary and middle school students.

The structure of the program will be “fit minds, fit bodies and building a fit community,” said Leone.

That means programming will include art, sports and fitness, homework club, nature and cooking, as well as service learning projects.

Here is what you need to know:

Programs for K-sixth graders will be held at the Lake House; middle schoolers will meet next door at Brown’s Chapel.

Hours are 2-6:30 p.m. on school days; 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on teacher workdays and other student holidays.

There will be bus transportation from these Reston schools: Buzz Aldrin, Forest Edge, Hunters Woods, Lake Anne, Terraset, Langston Hughes and Herndon Middle.

Other schools may be added to he list, but initial research showed these schools have the longest waiting lists for Fairfax County-sponsored School Age Child Care (SACC) programs.

If you don’t see your school listed above and would like to inquire about how to be added, please contact Senior Program Manager Dan Merenick at 703-435-6567, or [email protected]


  • Daily afternoon care, RA Members – $395/month; Non-members, $420/month.
  • Daily drop-in care (May be used at any time for school day/school day out camp and inclement weather days. Must be used during the 2016-2017 school year. Non-refundable and non-transferable) $245/members (10 days a month); $270, non members

Registration opens on Monday, May 2. Visit RA’s website for a sign up link beginning Monday.

RA purchased the building on the shores of Lake Newport for $2.6 million in July 2015.

Buying the building protects the property — which sits next to Brown’s Chapel Park — from commercial development, as well as adds a recreational and community space, RA has said.

Renovations are currently underway while a working group discusses other usage plans for the 3.47-are property. The 15-member group is expected to give a report to the RA Board at the board’s May meeting.

In addition to after school care, which is expected to bring in more than $100,000 to the association annually, the Lake House is expected to also eventually be used for corporate/nonprofit and homeowners’ association meetings; adult classes such as wine tasting or fitness; and nature programs.

  • Nyla J.

    Reston property owners bought this overpriced building so that a subsidized child care program could go there which only includes students from schools with – dare I make this assumption – likely the highest percentage of people not paying into the RA dues pool??

    This is getting ridiculous.

    • LakeNewportLady

      Ummm I live right by Aldrin and I can guarantee you we pay dues just like everyone else.

    • Restontimes

      You are looking in the wrong direction, subsidized programs is RCC not RA. We all pay into Special Tax District Five an exorbitant amount of $$.

      I think this is an excellent use of the RA property.

      • Mike M

        And I don’t. Was there a vote?

        • CuseFan5

          “Was there a vote?”

          Like Pony Barn, there were many working group meetings composed of members of the community which decided on its use and proposed to the RA board. https://www.reston.org/DevelopmentFutureofReston/WhatsComing/LakeHousesupportedbyComstock/tabid/978/Default.aspx

          • Karen Goff

            Oddly, that is supposed to be the process. There is a working group that is scheduled to present its proposal to the board in late May.

          • Mike M

            Great. First I heard of it. Makes me sick how so many “do-gooders” have so much time to play high school project games with other people’s money.

          • Greg

            Many? I think that’s a stretch. There were a few meetings. Half dozen at that?

            Also, and more to the point, the working group was appointed by the RA board –certainly they didn’t pick those who were opposed to their agendas, now, did they?

  • RestonRed

    Wow shouldn’t the non-member fee be significantly higher than just an additional $25? Considering how much debt was taken out to pay for this amenity that MANY RA members will never use?

    • LakeNewportLady

      I agree with this….is the difference between member and non-member prices always so low? I’ve never noticed.

    • Mike M

      Hey, when you are out to save the world, you just can’t think about these petty resource constraints!

  • east297

    So glad we are leaving this money pit called Reston!

    • troll troller

      Me too! Bye!

  • LakeNewportLady

    I voted against the purchase but I’m glad to see that at least it will be utilized for things the community needs – I know there are big wait lists for after school care. Even though I don’t need these services this is better to me than being a strictly corporate rental site which no one in the community would really get use from.

    • Mike M

      I know! Let’s buy stuff and then think about what “community needs” we can use it for!

      How about food? How about Healthcare! Worthy “community needs” all. How about an indoctrination center to espouse “community virtue?”

      • LakeNewportLady

        I said I voted against the purchase. I’m just happy that at least they are letting some folks in the community get use out of it now that other folks in Reston voted for the purchase. Not sure what you’d prefer to be done with the property now that it is ALREADY purchased. I have no doubt that there is no way this building could be a profit center…anyone that has been there knows how relatively small it is.

        • Greg

          One problem in creating services that we arguably do or don’t need is that it’s being paid for by all RA assessment payers and the property is no longer on the tax rolls. All of this needs discussion should have been publicly discussed long before the facility was purchased, especially considering the underused RA facilities that currently exist and the unmet, for example, inexpensive-to-provide-and-maintain garden plots

          What’s more, a business could provide the same services at the same site and not only pay property taxes, but income and sales taxes as well. A restaurant there would possibly generated the debated meals tax if it passes.

          Also, the traffic and parking issues that this sort of service will generate are potential issues.

          • John Higgins

            At risk of fanning the flames further, you might be interested to know what happens when an HOA acquires property that is subsequently exempt form real estate tax. The county makes a judgment as to who benefits from the new use of the property and spreads the value among the beneficiaries. Some portion of Restonites will have a slightly higher assessed value because this property is exempt. It may be that our friends across the lake will be the ones, now that this parcel has been protected from commercial development.

          • Greg

            I learn something new here every time I visit!

            Do you have any more detail on how the county makes its judgment and what standards is uses? Is the reassessment a revenue wash or is there more or less value assessed than the tax-exempt property’s value?

          • John Higgins

            Greg, sorry to say I can’t provide more. The reassessment would be revenue neutral, but for the significant spread between the current assessed value and the purchase price. I will be very interested to see how that plays out.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    But will they provide care for children with severe Special Needs?

  • Jillian Morris

    I think this is great!

  • A Former Resident

    Many working families are on wait lists for quality afterschool programming. Unfortunately, SACC programs cannot accommodate all of the families that need afterschool care and alternative programs are onky offered one or two days a week. RA does programs well and I think this will be a positive addition to the community.

    • Greg

      How do the schools accommodate the students (families) during the regular day but not after hours?

      • MaggieSays

        Different staff, separate payroll. It’s not like teachers from the school come in early and stay late to work SACC. Also they use only certain parts of the school so that teachers can finish up for the day and custodians can clean.

  • restonresident

    $2.5m for an after school care facility. Does it also have gold bathroom fixtures?
    Plus there is no space for recreational activities but perhaps they can go over to the other side of the lake.
    The price differential between members and non members is absurd it should be at least 15-25% more.Non Members should be placed on a wait list and only accepted when all Reston members have been accommodated.
    They better be making a profit on this activity or not losing money

    • LakeNewportLady

      I do know on other RA things Reston residents are offered the service first and non-members are waitlisted

  • thebratwurstking

    So let’s see. With all 50 spots utilized, monthly revenue is about $20,000. Minus staff cost (needs at least 5-10), minus bus transportation, minus drinks/snacks which will surely have to be provided, minus equipment and supplies for all the listed activities, minus whatever tables, chairs, closets, other furniture etc., minus utilities (AC/heat, water, gas…). Can anyone provide projected expenses on this? Can’t quite figure out the profit margin without that. But I’m sure it’s going to be great! Or is it?

    • Rational Reston

      Sadly, I think we’ll all get your answer when our 2017 RA fees hit.

  • Concerned Parent

    I remember being a parent, child care expenses were a large portion of our income. The child care we found always had a subsidy component to it, to make it affordable. So in this case, RA child care, I see even more reasons to keep this service community based and affordable. Except that RA has no business in providing these services unless they poll the membership first. That said I think that many of the RA decisions have missed their mark, 3 specially over the past three years or so.

    Does RA even have a mission statement that covers what is in the interest of the collective?

  • jvb11

    Very glad RA did this. This is very helpful to those of us with children. SACC programs at the schools always have a waitlist. This is a need.


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