Pool season returns to Reston with newly renovated facilities, extended hours

Reston Association Communications Director Cara O’Donnell and Aquatics Facility Manager Nate Wheeler at the renovated Lake Thoreau Pool (via Reston Association/YouTube)

Reston Association is ready to dive into a new swimming season — one that will open all 15 pools to members for the first time in half a decade.

The 2024 pool season will kick off tomorrow (Saturday) with the heated pools at North Shore and Ridge Heights opening at 11 a.m. Eight other facilities, including the newly renovated Lake Thoreau Pool, will follow suit on May 25 for Memorial Day weekend.

All 15 pools will then be open from June 15 to Aug. 11 before the season starts tapering off as Labor Day approaches.

RA will hold a grand opening ceremony on May 24 for the Lake Thoreau Pool, which last opened to patrons for the 2019 pool season. The facility at 2040 Upper Lake Drive was demolished in 2022, and construction on a new pool finished in December.

The $3.5 million renovation project added six lap lanes, a redesigned deck, a bigger parking lot with 25 spaces, an overlook with a pollinator garden and expanded bathhouses, which were shifted away from the spa. It also brought the facility in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a promotional video released earlier this week by RA.

“We have a ramp, a beach entry, a family restroom, and the bathrooms are all ADA-compliant,” Reston Aquatics Facility Manager Nate Wheeler said.

This season will also reintroduce Shadowood Pool (2201 Springwood Drive), which could have a new name by the time it opens on June 15. Closed since 2020, when pool access was generally limited due to the pandemic, the Shadowood facility underwent a renovation that added lap lanes, heaters, interior bathhouse enhancements and a splash pad in place of the wading pool.

The splash pad will be accessible even when the main pool isn’t open, according to Wheeler.

In addition to unveiling the completed renovations, the upcoming pool season will feature longer operating hours, with some sites opening as early as 9 a.m. and closing as late as 9 p.m., depending on the day. RA extended the hours after conducting a community survey last year that identified “limited hours” as one of the top barriers to pool usage.

“This year, we really took the feedback we got from last year’s community survey to heart,” RA communications director Cara O’Donnell said by email. “Our members told us they wanted all 15 pools open — and they wanted pools open extended hours and things like dedicated fitness hours, which we’ve tried to accommodate at a number of facilities.”

The survey also identified the cost of pool passes as a barrier. In response, the RA board adopted a budget last fall that eliminated the fee for recreation passes, which are now available to all members as part of their annual assessment.

Though there’s no longer an extra charge, members still need to register or renew their pass for this season, which can be done online or in person at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive), Wheeler noted.

With all 15 pools opening, RA faced a challenge this year when it came to hiring the workers needed to support those facilities. According to O’Donnell, the organization has about 200 people on the aquatics staff, but there are still positions available.

“Hiring enough lifeguards and other staff to handle the volume at all 15 pools is always challenging,” O’Donnell said. “We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of returning seasonal staff and have already hired dozens of new seasonal workers for this year, but we are definitely still hiring! Anyone interested in a summer job can visit our careers page at reston.org.”

Read more on FFXnow…

Recent Stories

Owners of six Woofie’s franchises in Northern Virginia are hosting a “Paws in the Park” pet adoption event tomorrow (Saturday) at Wolf Trap National Park. Participating Woofie’s include Reston/Herndon, Ashburn-Leesburg,…

A Fairfax Connector bus to Tysons (staff photo by James Jarvis) The Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT) has the green light to apply for a federal grant to replace…

Morning Notes

The splash pad at the Mosaic District in Merrifield has been turned on (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Congress Approves More National Airport Flights — “More long-haul flights are coming…

Fairfax County’s annual Summer Entertainment Series will kick off on June 1 (via Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter) The Fairfax County Park Authority has composed a slate of summer shows, including…


Subscribe to our mailing list