Design Review Board approves Lake Thoreau pool renovations, keeping project on track

Lake Thoreau Pool concept design as of June 2021 (via Reston Association)

Designs for the $3.5 million renovation of Lake Thoreau pool were approved by the Reston Association Design Review Board last night (June 22), keeping the project on track for construction in the fall.

The board ratified several key design elements, including a re-working of the roof, ADA access with a ramp into the main pool, a repositioning of the spa away from the bathhouses, and a redesign of the overlook deck.

Since these plans were last brought to the design review board in March, RA staff had tweaked the roof, spa location, and additional seating for the zero-depth pool area. The update also further extended the ADA ramp into the pool, reduced the size of the overlook area, and limited the profiles of the walkways going down towards the lake.

Overall, the revised plans were met with approval and enthusiasm from the design review board.

A substantial portion of the discussion was around the roof line and architecture of the new pool house. The concept that was agreed upon — called concept 2a — included vertical columns, which are mostly for aesthetics.

“[It] has a little more architectural detail than the other ones, which are more simple overhangs,” said Michael Wood, architect and Design Review Board member. “Our pool houses are all unique at all of our pools. So, to me, that’s a good stance.”

RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker said that staff is “continuing to refine” the pool house’s interior layout to accommodate storage and provide better accessibility to patrons.

“We tweaked the front office to provide a more welcoming entryway,” Schumaker said.

There are also plans for a pollinator garden, “artistic” birdhouses, and public art.

“We are working with the public art community right now…to come up with some request for proposals,” Schumaker said.

Now that the plan has passed the design review board, the next step is to get the RA Board of Directors’ approval. Then, RA plans to hire a contractor that will provide its own insight and expertise before sending the designs to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

RA hopes to get a contractor approved by the RA Board by August or September, but the multi-million dollar pool renovation has hit several recent roadblocks, including soaring material costs and a lack of contractor availability.

The project’s cost has also been a sore spot ever since it began last year.

Nonetheless, with this approval, construction could still potentially start in October or November, with completion anticipated in the fall of 2022 and a grand reopening at the beginning of the 2023 pool season.

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