Reston Community Center Examining Potential for Aquatics Center Upgrades

by Dave Emke March 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm 17 Comments

Plans to upgrade Reston Community Center’s aquatics center will be the topic of discussion at a public meeting Monday.

At RCC’s Feb. 13 community engagement meeting, proposals for renovations to the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center were presented. Leila Gordon, RCC executive director, says total cost for needed repairs at the aquatics center over the next two-year cycle is estimated at $1.2 million. This has led to discussion, she said, that a full upgrade of the facility may be more effective to meet current and future needs.

Gordon said the aquatics center serves three subsets of users: master swimmers, those learning to swim and those using the pool for therapy purposes. Each has different preferences, Gordon said, for specifics including pool length, depth and temperature.

Based on community feedback, three options for renovations were proposed, two of which involved expanding the aquatic center’s space by as much as 7,000 square feet. The information provided for Monday’s meeting includes only the third option, which would use the existing footprint of the aquatics center for a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with an attached family pool, as well as a separate warm-water therapy pool.

Gordon said she believes the upgrade could cost up to $4 million.

“Our understanding is that from the perspective of ‘rough order of magnitude,’ the cost is in the $3-4 million range,” she said. “Of course, though, that is not based on a detailed analysis of the existing conditions or a more precise costing that would accompany more refined ‘scoping’ of the project.”

The other options would cost at least $8 million, which Gordon said there would be “no path to” outside of a lengthy and costly bond question — which, if successful, would also add significant expenses to RCC’s core budget.

Other improvements laid out in the plan include a possible patio and/or windows along the northeast wall, an additional family changing room, reconfigured shower stalls in both the men’s and women’s locker rooms, and improved quality of light, air, water and acoustics.

Wayne Hughes, of Hughes Group Architects, will present more information regarding the proposed renovation at Monday’s meeting and will answer community members’ questions.

The public meeting of RCC’s Long Range Planning Committee is scheduled for 6:30-8 p.m. Monday at RCC’s Hunters Woods facility (2310 Colts Neck Road). Those who plan to attend are asked to email [email protected] to RSVP. Anyone who is unable to attend but would like to submit comments can do so to the same email address, and should include their full name and address along with their comments.

  • cRAzy

    Why is RCC proposing a pool upgrade when the COUNTY will be building a HUUUGE district recreation center (with Olympic pool) in a few years at TCN?

    Oh, I know, we can pay for ALL the RCC improvements through added Reston taxes rather than having to share the costs with the rest of the county for the regional rec center. Of course, Gordon’s guess on the cost is half what others have estimate, which is half of what it will really cost (not counting maintenance costs).

    • ShutUpAlready

      Shocker– cRAzy is against.

      • JoeInReston

        Its a good question – if there is a new regional rec center coming to Reston that will have premium facilities, than why renovate RCC?

        • Conservative Senior

          Just say NO.

    • Arielle in NoVA

      Apples and oranges.

      RCC pool has been around for ages (was built when I was in ES, I think – I went to some of the opening celebrations) and is overdue for a pool upgrade. Facility space is limited – barring a bond issue, according to the article, they couldn’t expand the footprint. It gets very humid in there very quickly, from what I remember (haven’t gone swimming there in a while – our neighborhood, which isn’t in Reston proper, has a pool). It’s a Reston-specific facility, open to outsiders but with priority for classes to Reston residents – usually folks in Reston get earlier signups and/or discounts compared to those not in Reston proper.

      Proposed *county* rec center would be on the other side of the Toll Road, meaning it would draw somewhat from a different group of people AND would be different to get to during rush hours, depending on where you’re starting from. RCC would be more convenient for those south of the Toll Road; rec center, for those north of the Toll Road; if people went somewhat to the more convenient facility, it at least wouldn’t make cross-Toll Road traffic worse. Floor plan is far from being set and has much flexibility. As a *county* facility, signups would most likely be via Parktakes rather than via RA and thus anyone in the county could sign up at the same time – not Reston residents first, then outsiders, like Reston-specific facilities.

      Ideally, both pools would open with lap lanes for teams to use for practice so teams have additional, more convenient local facility options and, with more lanes, won’t have to have as many pre-dawn practices (which I think are ridiculous).

      • Conservative Senior

        So if your neighborhood is not in Reston proper, you are not part of the Small Tax District which supports the community center. We pay a large amount already & the supposed discounts are peanuts!

    • Rational Reston

      cRAzy brings up good points.

      People need to unpack the Rec Center project at TCN:

      *Who’s paying for it and what are we getting.
      *Overlap between the TCN and RCC proposals (double dipping)
      *The arguments made by RCC when they wanted their aquatic facility at Baron Cameron to look for conflicting stories.

      RCC raised a lot of bad blood with their last proposal, they should be better about this one.

    • Tammi Petrine

      Reston Association (RA) has NOTHING to do with this debate; they are our local master homeowner’s association and not responsible for county indoor rec facilities. Although the Reston Community Centers’ two locations, HW and LA, are listed as county facilities, WE Restonians pay for them by additional taxes at a rate of 4.7 cents/$100 evaluation! That is why members in Small Tax District (STD) #5 receive slightly preferential rates and early sign-ups for RCC offerings.

      The original RCC HW pool needs to be over-hauled. Understood.

      Also understood is that for YEARS, Bill Bouie has been BOTH an RCC voting governor (influencing actions of RCC all the while) AND has been CHAIR of the entire Fairfax County Park Authority. Bouie, a long-time volunteer Restonian holds HUGE influence over an entire county rec system budget and bonding process, yet Reston/Hunter Mill is the ONLY district in the ENTIRE county NOT have an indoor rec center!!!!! Why BB refuses to help his home district after sooooo many years is inexplicable.

      For this reason, I urge Restonians in the STD #5 area who pay for the current Reston Community Centers to vote for modest renovation of the current facility making the current pool suitable for therapy and lessons. Indeed, PUT the PRESSURE on Bouie and insist that he get off the fence and get our state of the art, fancy indoor rec center built pronto. Let the entire county pay for the new center with a huge public pool with lap lanes and other facilities appropriate for a District Rec Center and master swimmers. We have been waiting now 51 years for parity all the while paying the costs of the other existing 9 indoor rec centers as they get improvements and renovations! All we get are tax bills and not yet a single brick!

      The argument about one side of the DTR or the other is not applicable. No community can afford two big indoor pools nor should we. If we provide services at HW that will not be available at a county rec center like therapy, we will be ahead in the future. Therapy demands warmer water; swimming lessons also do well in warmer water and those services are needed desperately. Until the new swanky, all the bells and whistles facility with indoor pool (BB has promised me to shut me up!), master swimmers surely can make due with less than optimum facilities. Swank is coming; just when is the question. Right, Bill???

  • Amy Sue

    Oh my goodness. Finally! The possibility of a decent pool in Reston. For years I’ve paid the special tax for the Reston Community Center but have not used the pool because it’s always overcrowded. I’ve had to pay extra to swim in Herndon or wherever else I can find a good pool. Finally I may get something for the extra taxes I’ve been paying for. This is very good news.

    • JoeInReston

      What about Lake Newport pool?

      • Amy Sue

        It’s only open for 3 months but is a great pool

    • Conservative Senior

      And your taxes will be even higher. This is not good news for the small tax district.

  • Evidently

    So deep water aerobics would have to take up the deep end of the large pool? Makes no sense to me, but would allow for larger enrollments. You’d have to shut down laps for classes?

    • Arielle in NoVA

      Not my area of knowledge, but a good point to bring up. They should address this before finalizing the design.

  • JoeInReston

    Selected article quips concerning financing of the updates

    – Leila Gordon, RCC executive director, says total cost for needed repairs
    at the aquatics center over the next two-year cycle is estimated at
    $1.2 million.

    – Gordon said she believes the upgrade could cost up to $4 million.

    – The other options would cost at least $8 million, which Gordon said
    there would be “no path to” outside of a lengthy and costly bond
    question — which, if successful, would also add significant expenses to
    RCC’s core budget.

    It still not clear to me from the article how this will be paid for.

    The most expensive option costing $8 million will require a bond. Got that…

    The $1.2 million required for needed repairs, is that covered by the normal RCC revenue stream?

    And the $4 million dollar upgrade option, will that require a bond or a property tax hike?

  • Piyusgh
  • AIV India

    great work, Ipl Update


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