Reston pools are reopening for the season starting May 15 with similar restrictions and guidelines as last summer.
The heated pools at North Shore and Ridge Heights will be the first two to reopen. The rest of the Reston Association’s 12 available pools will open in phases on May 29, June 1, and June 12.
Like last summer, reservations will be required, even for open swim, so that the pools can limit capacity and maintain 10-foot social distancing requirements.
Residents will be able to book two-hour blocks for open swim and one-hour blocks for each lap swim and water fitness.
A registration system will open on May 10 at 9 a.m., allowing reservations to be booked on a rolling basis one week in advance of each day.
This is how RA plans to operate the pools for the moment, but it could change later in the summer, RA Director of Communications Mike Leone wrote in an email to Reston Now.
“The situation remains fluid and RA will continue to monitor it as we move into the later spring and summer,” Leone said. “It’s possible the procedures could change if the Governor further relaxes social distancing and gathering restrictions, but for now we are following similar guidelines as last summer.”
Cleaning protocols instituted last summer will still be in effect, according to Reston Aquatics.
All spas, hot tubs, and spray features will remain closed, in accordance with a March 23 Executive Order from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.
Starting on May 15, North Shore Heated Pool will be open on Mondays through Fridays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ridge Heights Heated Pool will also be open on Mondays through Fridays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Leone says that the opening dates for specific pools is based on known activity levels, and the timing of all the pools’ openings corresponds with the beginning of summer break for Fairfax County Public Schools.
Besides a high number of students using the pools, RA aligns the pool openings with school dismissals, because local high school students are often hired for lifeguard positions. Hiring enough lifeguards has been a challenge in the past.
Below are the opening dates for the rest of the available RA pools:
- Lake Newport
- Golf Course Island
- Lake Audubon
- North Hills
- Hunters Wood
Three of RA’s pools — Lake Thoreau, Shadowood and Tall Oaks — are closed due to capital improvements, according to the website.
The new Lake Thoreau pool is set for a groundbreaking in October with a likely reopening in May 2023. Shadowood is also expected to undergo a full-scale renovation, and Tall Oaks has had past issues with contamination.
Image via Reston Association/YouTube
The Reston Association’s Recreation Facility Work Group has determined that a number of decades-old facilities are in need of work, and a “significant increase” in funding is required for the improvements.
The Reston work group released its findings and recommendations on Wednesday (March 10) after undertaking a year-long, comprehensive evaluation of Reston’s recreational facilities, including pools, lakes, and tennis and pickleball courts. The review focused on the condition, use, and associated costs of the facilities.
The nine-member work group determined that, while past development was “generous” in terms of providing facilities, many are now more than 30 years old and are in need of improvements.
However, funding and the cost of those capital projects may not be “sustainable” without a “significant increase to the annual assessment,” which is $718 for 2021.
According to the findings, the costs of operating and making capital improvements on pools and tennis courts are projected to top $22 million over the next five years and $37 million over the next 10 years, despite pool usage trending downwards and maintenance projects generally staying on track.
The group also focused on lake access and determined that there’s currently a lack of lakeside facilities.
Another major recommendation is that an updated Reston Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan is needed. The most recent plan was established in 2005, more than 15 years ago. Often master plans of this nature are done every decade.
The work group recommends that the Reston Association hire a professional parks and recreation firm to develop the master plan in consultation with RA staff.
The need for a new plan should be a “priority” in future budget considerations, the work group notes.
Photo via Reston Association/Facebook
The potential renovation of Lake Thoreau Pool is coming closer to fruition.
The Reston Association’s Design Review Board will look at a preliminary site plan application for the pool during its March 16 virtual meeting. The application will return to the board for final approval at a later date after comments and requirements for the project are integrated into the design.
The proposed alterations to the pool facility include selective tree removal, the expansion of the parking lot for more parking and ADA accessibility, and additional sidewalks. Other changes include the pool’s reconstruction, including the basin, retaining walls, observation plaza and deck, and modifications and expansions to the existing bathhouse.
Materials, fixtures, colors, landscaping, and artwork for the project will be presented to RA later in the design process, according to the submitted application.
In the proposed concept, the parking lot will include 25 parking spaces with two ADA spaces. The pool house would increase by 348 square feet to 1,375. The site plan also includes a proposed connection to the Lake Thoreau Loop Trail.
RA’s Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker said during the board’s Feb. 25 meeting that the project is projected to be three months behind schedule. Schumaker estimated another review by the Design Review Board in mid-July and the contract would head for a board vote in August.
He also estimated the pool project could be completed in October 2022 and a grand reopening could happen in May 2023.
The pool, which was opened in 1981, has been closed due to a compromised retaining wall. The details of the deterioration of the pool were identified to RA in October 2019 in a Terracon report.
RA’s Board of Directors allocated roughly $1.6 million in its 2021 capital budget for the project in October.
Images via handout/Reston Association
Lake Audubon Pool, operated by Reston Association, is in the midst of renovations. The pool is undergoing re-plastering, the pump and filter are being replaced, and other plumbing is being fixed.
Work began in mid-January and is expected to be completed sometime between mid-April and early May. But weather could delay the project, cautions Mike Leone of Reston Association.
This week work on the Lake Audubon Pool capital project began. This project will involve a full removal (pictured) and re-plaster of the pool, as well as replacing the pool pump, filter, and associated plumbing in totality. The project will be completed by mid to late April. pic.twitter.com/AO40Nul3Ps
— Reston Association (@RestonOnline) January 22, 2021
This is all part of Reston Association’s regular maintenance plan and required for compliance under Fairfax County Health Department code. Plaster coatings have about an eight-to-ten- year service life, writes Leone in an email to Reston Now.
Another Reston Association pool, Lake Thoreau, is also expected to undergo renovations but a funding hang-up has caused delays. The Lake Thoreau Pool project could cost up to $3.5 million.
At this time, it remains unclear when Reston Association pools will open this summer. In 2020, four out of 15 pools opened in late June.
“RA does not have hard dates for the opening of any of our pools for the 2021 summer season,” wrote Leone. “We are planning to open as many facilities as we can this summer.”
As pool season inches closer, updates will be posted on the Reston Association website.
Photo courtesy of Reston Association
Labor Day is almost here — and the end of pool season.
While swimming in the pool or lounging nearby are popular summer activities, the coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on swimsuit season, unless you have a private pool or know someone who does.
Fairfax County didn’t allow public indoor and outdoor swimming pools to reopen until mid-June only for lap swimming, diving, exercise and instruction.
Then when Phase 3 guidelines went into effect on July 1, public pools could allow up to 75% occupancy with 10 feet of physical distance between users who are not from the same household. Public hot tubs, spas, saunas and spray pools are still closed though.
“This guidance applies to all community pools, including those operated by apartment and condominium complexes, recreation centers, homeowner’s associations and swim clubs,” according to Fairfax County’s website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they don’t have evidence that the novel coronavirus can be spread in the water.
“Plus, proper operation of public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds (such as at an apartment complex or owned by a community) and disinfection of the water (with chlorine or bromine) should inactivate the virus,” according to the CDC.
When we asked readers in June how they felt about using public pools, roughly 40% said they wouldn’t because of COVID-19 concerns, while 36% said they would.
With Labor Day soon marking the unofficial end to summer, we want to know if you have been to the pool. Let us know in the poll below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by Toni Cuenca/Unsplash
Herndon Community Center plans to expand its operating hours beginning next week.
The center, which was closed for months due to COVID-19, opened on August 20 to the public. Starting Tuesday (Sept. 8), the center will be open on from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. The center will remain closed over the weekend.
Currently, the pool is opening for lap swimming and water walking, while the fitness area is limited to a maximum of 10 people for a one-hour timeslot. Reservations are required.
Locker rooms, the spa, the sauna, racquetball courts, and drop-in fitness classes are not available due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s more from the center on the limited number of fall classes being offered at the center:
A limited number of fall classes will be offered starting in mid-September. We are exercising precautions to ensure the health and safety of all students by following the CDC and industry guidelines related to preventing the spread of COVID-19. Outdoor Tennis Lessons and new Family Tennis lessons are being offered in Bready Park. Small Group Fitness classes will be held indoors and outdoors in Bready Park, new sessions start each month. Visit herndonwebtrac.com to learn more and to register. To learn more about the Town of Herndon Parks and Recreation Department, please visit us at herndon-va.gov/recreation, or call 703-787-7300.
Image via Google Maps
The dog days of summer deserve a day just for the dogs before the pool season ends.
Reston Association is hosting a dog paddle next weekend. Residents can bring their dog for a dip in the pool at North Hills on Saturday, August 29 and at Dogwood on Sunday, August 30. Both events take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Access to the pool is reserved on a 45-minute visit that begins at the top of each hour. Although people are not allowing in the water with the dogs, four people can accompany each dog to the facility. Dogs must remain under control at all times or will be asked to leave without a refund. Female dogs in heat are not allowed.
Face masks — for humans only — are required at all times. The fee is $10 per dog for RA members and $15 for all others.
Registration is open via RA’s Webtrac system. Pre-registration is required and the event will be cancelled in the event of rain.
Active dog licenses are required before entering the facility. RA reserved the right to density admission to any patron or dog owner.
Photo courtesy Sammy Monaghan for RA
Report on Oral Health in Virginia — “Gaps in oral health access and utilization between lower-income and higher-income Northern Virginians are as profound as they were a decade ago, report cites.” [Northern Virginia Health Foundation]
Cornerstones to Host Forum on Economic Stability — The Reston-based nonprofit organization is hosting a forum with elected officials on economic recovery in Northern Virginia after the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum takes place online tomorrow (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. [Cornerstones]
Coronavirus Collides with Cardboard Boat Regatta — “Reston Historic Trust & Museum canceled its fourth annual Cardboard Boat Regatta due to the coronavirus pandemic. In its place the organization presents the 2020 Cardboard Challenge during the entire month of August.” [The Connection]
Reston Association Announces More Pool Openings — Season four, which runs from August 24 through September 7, will feature the pools at Glade, Golf Course Island, Lake Newport and Ridge Heights. The pools at Lake Newport and Ridge Heights will be open for season five from September 8-20. [Reston Association]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Kimley-Horn, a planning and design consultant, has pitched two proposals for Lake Thoreau pool, a Reston Association amenity closed pending major improvements on the aging site.
The pool, which opened in 1981, is deteriorating. Previous structural engineering reports have flagged structural problems with the pool, including a sagging retaining wall and cracks in the pool shell and concrete deck.
Following community engagement sessions, Kimley-Horn pitched two concept plans for the renovation project. The first concept is similar to the current layout and design, but would incorporate features requested by residents at a Feb. 11 community meeting. Those priorities include: a hot tub or spa, lap lanes, zero-depth entry, outward views, shade and tree retention, and lake access.
The second concept plan would involve a complete redesign and creates less shade and tree retention.
Jeffrey Holzer, a landscape architect analyst with Kimley-Horn, said the company was amenable to pursuing a “simple and practical” design. Reston Association released an informational video about the project ahead of a community meeting next month.
The consultant is also exploring artistic opportunities like a pool mural, a pool floor mosaic, sculptural art along the building, deck or wall, or a sculptural water fountain.
Feedback and questions are due by August 7 to [email protected].
A final conceptual design, which would incorporate community feedback, will be created by August 25. Meetings with RA’s Board of Directors and Design Review Board are expected to continue between September and October.
A virtual community meeting is planned for August 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Image via Kimley-Horn
Heat Advisory in Effect — Hot temperatures and high humidity are expected from noon to 8 p.m. today (Monday). Forecasters encourage residents to drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, and stay out of the sun. [National Weather Service]
Input Sought on Route 28 Improvements — “The Virginia Department of Transportation wants the public’s input for a study on improving the Route 28 corridor. The goal is to ease congestion and improve safety around the Dulles Greenway interchange. VDOT has created a survey people can take online until Aug. 3.” [VDOT]
RA Offers Discounts for Recreation Passes, Rebates — “The Reston Association Board of Directors voted to discount the purchase price of member recreation passes by 50 percent starting July 15. The board also decided to offer 50 percent retroactive rebates to members and non-members who have already paid the full price for their 2020 passes. The decisions came during a special virtual meeting of the board on July 13.” [Reston Association]
If state health orders and funding allow, the association may open at least two more facilities by September.
But pools at Lake Audubon, Shadowood, and Uplands will remain closed this year– in addition to pre-planned closures at Lake Thoreau and North Shore due to ongoing construction projects.
“We will open as many pools as we possibly can, when can we can, based on the rules and resources we have,” said RA CEO Hank Lynch at a meeting late last week.
Lake Audubon and Shadowood will remain closed. Plans to replace the plaster last year were delayed “during budget development with hopes of it lasting until 2021,” according to a staff presentation. Loss of revenue from member fees due to COVID-19 also complicated funding efforts.
Uplands pool will also remain closed due to delayed work on a roof project. Delays with RA’s Design Review Board were also caused by the pandemic.
Members and nonmembers can purchase pass options at half price beginning July. Recreation passes, which include tennis, pickleball and pools, have brought in roughly $117,00 in revenue between this year. Full refunds are also available to those who request them.
At the meeting, Laura Kowalski, RA’s director of recreation and environmental resources, stressed that decisions about pools and other facilities are fluid due to changing recommendations from health officials and the state.
Currently, pools at Glade, Golf Course Island, Lake Newport, and Newbridge are opening for lap swimming and fitness classes only. Other pools may open in the coming weeks. Spas, hot tubs, and water park features are closed due to state orders.
Photo via Reston Association/YouTube
Reston Association’s Board of Directors will meet today (Thursday) to discuss a concept plan for the Hunters Woods Ballfield and plans to reopen pools for this year’s season.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Design consultant Kimley-Horn created several concept images to repurpose the Hunters Woods ballfield, which is located behind Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Design sketches show the space would largely be maintained as open space, with the addition of trees and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition is encouraging RA to repurpose the ball field, which is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League. So far, a pathway lighting project north of the Hunters Woods Village Center is under consideration, with roughly 16 light poles at a cost of $100,000.
The board could approve a concept plan, which would then be considered by RA’s Design Review Board and county planners. More details are expected at the meeting.
(Updated to reflect a revision by Reston Association about admittance rules for children under eight and guests of passholders)
Reston Association will open four of its 15 pools on June 29, according to a new release.
Pools will be open daily for members and non-members with a recreational pass for the year. Currently, the facilities will only be available for lap swimmers and water walkers who reserve time and for instructional programs.
State Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive order does not allow recreational or open swimming.
RA staff selected the pools at Lake Newport, Newbridge, Glade and Golf Course Island for reopening this month. The facilities were selected in order to “maximize lap swimming and fitness programming,” according to the release. Pools will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Here’s more from RA on how to reserve lap swim time:
Pass-holders will be able to reserve lap swim time on SignUpGenius.com or by phone. We anticipate having links to SignUpGenius reservation pages available by June 22. Online registration for water fitness programs or purchases of season-long fitness passes can be done through our standard WebTrac site. More information will be provided in the coming days via emails to pass-holders and through other RA communications channels about how to sign up. The notices will include other important details regarding pool safety and operational procedures.
In preparation for the openings, RA is implementing cleaning procedures and training aquatics staff on how to abide by safety rules set in place by the county and the state.
RA CEO Hank Lynch thanked members for their patience and noted that the association had to wait for state officials to provide guidance on opening aquatics facilities.
“We understand how important the pools are to our membership,” said Lynch. “Our staff has worked around the clock towards the goal of opening as many pools as we could in a way that is in compliance with government mandates. We encourage our members to take advantage of all outdoor exercise opportunities as we collectively adjust to new norms during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Image via Reston Association/YouTube
Pools operated by Reston Association will not open in May, as originally scheduled, due to the current stay-at-home order issued by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam.
In a statement released yesterday (Wednesday), RA said aquatics, programs, events and other pool-related activities “will not be rescheduled at his time.” The association expects to have more information on the situation around June 10.
For now, the association is assuming that pools will reopen sometime this summer. Pre-season maintenance projects are underway.
But RA cautioned that it may take three weeks or more to reopen its facilities from the time restrictions on gatherings and social distancing are lifted.
“Supply chains we rely on for chemicals and pool equipment may be interrupted. In addition, proper training, orientations for staff and other safety measures will need to be in place before any of our pools can resume operations,” RA said.
RA did not immediately respond to a request from Reston Now on how the delayed openings will impact pool passes.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Association recently kicked off a comprehensive evaluation of its recreational facilities. The organization is seeking members for a new recreational facilities working group that will evaluate the current inventory, condition and usage of RA facilities.
Members who are interested in applying should do so by March 31. Interviews will be conducted by the Board Operations Committee on May 4 at 6:30 p.m. at RA headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). The application is available online.
The workgroup is tasked with the following:
- Evaluate the number, condition and use of facilities like pools, tennis, ballfields, playgrounds and pavilions
- Review the long-term operational, maintenance and capital costs for RA facilities
- Evaluate usage trends for RA facilities using existing data
- Recommend to the board a process for closing or converting existing facilities to other uses.
The Park & Recreation Advisory Committee is temporarily suspended until Feb. 2021 as the new workgroup begins the analysis.
Photo courtesy Reston Association