Reston, VA

(Updated 2/14/2020) Presidents’ Day is Monday and that means closures around the area.

All Fairfax County government offices, public schools and public libraries will be closed, according to the county website.

Trash and recycling will be collected on a regular schedule if community members are customers of Fairfax County, the website said, which added that people with a private company should contact the company directly.

Both Reston community centers at Lake Anne and Hunters Woods will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, according to the website.

In the Town of Herndon, recycling will be collected on Tuesday (Feb. 18) instead of Monday, the town’s website said.

The Herndon Community center will be open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., according to the site, which added that its government offices will be closed.

Regarding public transportation, the Fairfax Connector will be running on a Holiday Weekend Schedule on Monday.

The Metro will be running on a Saturday schedule from 5 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., according to the WMATA website.

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Op-Ed: Thank You to Reston

This op-ed was jointly submitted by Reston Community Center’s executive director Leila Gordon and Beverly Cosham, chair of the Board of Governors. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish articles and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content. 

The Reston Community Center Board of Governors and staff want to express their appreciation to the nearly 200 people who came out on a cold and rainy February Monday to contribute their ideas about RCC’s future.

The event was designed to begin a conversation that the Board and staff will be having with and throughout the community for the next several months as we explore the development of a new strategic plan to take effect in 2021. A film by Storycatcher Productions about Reston Community Center’s past, how it fulfills its mission and what it seeks to be in the future, was screened. It will continue to be refined, and then posted to RCC’s YouTube page with other RCC video stories and Board of Governors meetings. A film summary of the February 10 “RCC: Past and Future” event will also be posted.

Following the film, Dr. Kara Fitzgibbon, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research, presented findings from RCC’s 2019 Community Survey that UVA conducted. The full report, including the data appendices, is posted on the Reston Community Center website:  http://bit.ly/RCCSurveyReport. As Dr. Fitzgibbon noted in her presentation, the data collected is extensive and will be a foundation from which RCC can explore strategic planning priorities to serve Reston effectively and efficiently. 

The energetic conversation in the RCC Community Room that followed the survey report-out composed the second half of an energizing evening. Yes, the noise level grew challenging and there were too frequent interruptions; but the amount of positive energy and creativity that flowed was very impressive, nonetheless. The comments shared with the Leadership Fairfax facilitators from all the people eagerly offering them will be compiled and presented to RCC Board and staff teams. More meetings with smaller groups and more individualized focus areas will take place. 

Even with the abundant creativity and breadth of feedback received on February 10, there is still a lot of discovery to come. RCC will engage with the community in meetings on each individual strategic plan pillar to delve more deeply into the topics to get greater focus on various aspects of each. Pursuit of new facilities always necessitates lengthy investigation – not only to find out if there is support for a new building, but also what the ramifications are financially, what program elements should be served, how new facilities should function and by whom they should be operated. RCC is at the beginning of that exploratory process. Similarly, new programming, pricing, communications platforms and tools – all these pillars of RCC planning will require further conversation and research. 

Participants who registered for the February 10 event will be contacted if they left questions to be answered, and they will be invited to continue their involvement as RCC plans meetings for the months to come. People who want to join the conversation will be welcome – news about meetings will be posted and advertised.

The beginning of RCC’s future is off to a great start; thank you for joining the conversation.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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Reston Community Players will continue their 53rd season with “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which is based on the harrowing story of eight people hiding from Nazis in a concealed attic.

The show will run from Feb. 28 through March 14 at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road).

The Diary of Anne Frank holds themes of family, fear, and love – all seen through the eyes of a young girl,” said Jolene Vettese, President of Reston Community Players. “They are themes that resonate particularly in today’s world and ones we believe are very important for today’s audiences.”

The performance is based on the book, “Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl.” It tells the story of Anne, 13, and seven others Jews who hide in an attic as the Nazis deport the Jews of Holland to their death. The book captures the diary entries of the young girl.

Here’s more from RCP about the upcoming show:

Leading the cast of The Diary of Anne Frank are Sophia Manicone in the title role and Michael Kharfen as her father, Otto Frank. They are joined by Laura Russell (Edith Frank), Madison Chase (Margot), Michael Sherman (Mr. Van Daan), Lorraine Magee (Mrs. Van Daan), Logan Matthew Baker (Peter), Steven Palkovitz (Mr. Dussel), Earle Greene (Mr. Kraler), Jessi Shull (Miep), Francis Kosciesza (Dutch Nazi), Kevin Carrington (Dutch Collaborator) and Ian Brown (Gestapo).

Anne Frank is directed by notable regional director Gloria DuGan. The production team includes Diane P. Mullins (Producer), Jessica Carrington (Stage Manager), Kevin Carrington (Assistant Stage Manager), Maggie Modig (Set Designer, Lead Set Painter), Tom Geutig (Master Carpenter, Sandy Dotson (Set Decoration), Franklin Coleman (Lighting Designer), Sara Birkhead (Lead Electrician) and Stan Harris (Sound Designer).

The curtain time is 8 p.m. for all shows except a 2 p.m. matinee on March 8. Tickets can be purchased online and by calling the box office at 703-476-4500, extension 3.

RCP is a nonprofit organization that has been producing theatrical productions since 1966.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Donations Sought for Diva Central Dress Drive — Reston Community Center is looking for formal dresses, shoes, jewelry handbags, and accessories for the annual prom and middle school formal dress giveaway. Donations will be accepted through Feb. 29. [Reston Community Center]

It’s All Business for Reston Chamber’s New President — “When Mark Ingrao, the former CEO and president of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce announced he was leaving in June 2019, the Chamber went on a national search to find his successor. In the end, the organization opted to choose someone from within — Charles Kapur, a local banker who was then serving as the Chamber’s chairman of the board.” [Reston Patch]

Accident Closes Spruce Street in Herndon — An accident that happened around 4:30 a.m. this morning has prompted the closure of Spruce Street. Drivers should use Locust Street or Vine Street to detour around the accident scene. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Forty years ago, Reston Community Center opened its doors to the people of still-young Reston.

During that time, Reston has grown from a community of about 26,000 to nearly four times that number — and growing — as it welcomes transit-oriented development with Metro’s Silver Line.

How should RCC grow along with the community to best serve Reston in the 2020s and beyond? RCC formally asked residents that in 2019, when it contracted the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research to conduct a comprehensive community survey.

Restonians can learn the initial results of that survey, as well as participate in discussions about RCC’s future priorities at a special event, RCC: Past and Future, on Monday, February 10 at 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods.

The evening will include hospitality and community conversation for residents and employees of Small District 5 (Reston). The agenda of this special annual joint Community Relations and Program/Policy Committees meeting includes a screening of an entertaining short film about RCC’s first 40 years; the presentation on the results of the 2019 RCC Community Survey; and facilitated discussion on four important RCC strategic planning pillars (Facilities, Community Building, Programs and Communications).

RCC convenes the Community Relations and Program/Policy committees jointly each February to hear from its stakeholders and partners. This year will be a special gathering not just for the anniversary celebration, but so RCC’s Board of Governors and staff members can gather feedback as the agency looks toward 2021, when the next five-year strategic plan will be adopted.

“We conclude our present five-year strategic plan in 2021,” said Beverly Cosham, RCC Board of Governors Chair. “Our approach typically overlaps the final year of one strategic plan with the engagement process to find out what is on our community’s minds that will shape the next one. This year, we look back to acknowledge the tremendous impact of Reston creating its community center in the image of the community and what that meant for the past 40 years.”

RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon says this is a crucial time in Reston — and RCC’s — growth. She is hoping for significant community turnout in order to hear and record opinions from a broad cross-section of Reston.

“We know that people want to discuss a possible performing arts venue; development of an online community calendar; partner challenges and other specific issues,” said Gordon. “This event is an opportunity to share views on those topics.”

Advance registration is requested. RCC will be providing translation support (Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Russian) and offering childcare for busy families with children ages 6 to 12. Please RSVP at [email protected].

Those who want to take advantage of the childcare option must complete a registration form for their children.

The registration process will enable RCC to keep participants informed about the planning progress through the next several months. Interested patrons with questions can also direct them to [email protected].

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Moving Day for Fire Station 25 — “Station 25, Reston, A-Shift had a busy day moving to their new temporary station, located at 1840 Cameron Glen Drive. FCFRD personnel will be operating out of the temporary station while the new Station 25 is built. Crews will maintain continuous emergency response to the Reston community during construction. The existing station on Wiehle Avenue will be demolished in the next several weeks.”

Three Suspects Rob Bicyclist on Washington & Old Dominion Trail — A man was riding his bicycle along the trail near the 1000 block of Crestview Drive when three victims showed him a weapon and took his belongings. The incident happened on Jan. 24. [Herndon Police Department]

Reston Association Board Voting Begins in March — Voting for the month-long election for the Board of Directors begin on March 2. Ballots will be mailed to members and voting can be done online or by mail. [Reston Association]

Playing Games at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods — Residents can gather at the center today (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. to play board games and other tabletop games. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own game collections. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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After more than three years of planning and one year of construction, the newly renovated aquatics facility at Reston Community Center is now open to the community.

The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center — which features a 25-yard lap pool, a teaching and exercise pool, and a new roof and systems for water filtration and air — opened today (Monday). The outdated facility was constructed in 1979.

RCC worked with mosaic artist Valerie Theberge, Hughes Architects, Branch Builds and county to complete the project. Construction delays and other setbacks pushed the opening date from last year to early 2020.

The facility also includes better stormwater management features and updates to locker rooms.

“This ambitious project reflects the broad input and engagement with our swimmers that we sought from the beginning of our work,” wrote RCC Board of Governors Chair Beverly Cosham in a statement. “All the features address needs they described for us; the professionals worked to incorporate as many of the community’s ideas as possible.”

To celebrate the pool’s opening, RCC is offering a $1 drop-in access rate per visit throughout February. Classes and exercise programs begin one week from today on Feb. 3.

Here’s more from RCC on the project:

During the closure, RCC partnered with the Fairfax County YMCA Reston, Herndon Community Center and Reston Association to offer special aquatics discounts for RCC patrons during the renovation period.

“We are very happy to reopen,” said Leila Gordon, RCC’s executive director. “This project came in under budget and with excellent results. It took a little longer than we anticipated due to labor shortages in the construction industry that hit the aquatics specialization areas very hard. Nonetheless, the entire team worked extremely hard to get us open without sacrificing high quality standards. There will be a necessary period of completing punch list issues and establishing all our new routines, but we are thrilled to have the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center filled again with swimmers of all ages.”

The pool closed on Jan. 1 last year to jumpstart the renovation effort.

Photos via RCC

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As prom season approaches, the Reston Community Center is collecting lightly used formal wear to donate for students who might not be able to afford it themselves.

The Diva Central Dress Drive invites people from around the area to bring lightly used dresses, shoes, jewelry, handbags, scarves and shawls to either RCC Lake Anne ( 1609 N. Washington Plaza) or RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) during specific times throughout the entire month of February.

Hours of operation for the collection will run Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m., according to the website.

The program began 18 years ago, and RCC Outreach and Collaboration Director LaTanja Jones said the program helps to ease the financial burden of kids attending school dances.

“From an environmental perspective, it’s a great chance to recycle clothing that is seldom worn more than a handful of times,”  Jones said.

Donations are tax-deductible, according to the event page.

Event organizers ask that the dresses be in good condition, no more than five years old and dry cleaned before donation.

Anyone with followup questions can contact LaTanja Jones for more information.

Image via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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This Sunday (Jan. 18), the Liner Notes will perform “Music of the Movement.”

In this performance, the group will explore musical themes and the history of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

The performance is set to take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

“Always striving to care for its audience, Liner Notes revisits this turbulent time in our history with authenticity, thoughtfulness and integrity, drawing connections and examining the intersections with the adversity still prevalent today,” according to the event page.

Tomorrow (Jan. 18)

  • Book Launch Celebration for Laura Renauld (11 a.m. to noon) — Children’s book author Laura Renauld will be at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive) for a meet and greet along with a book signing to debut her new book “Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mr. Rogers.” This event is free and open to the public.
  • Wine Tasting (2 to 5 p.m.) — Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market (1871 Fountain Drive) will host a wine tasting with various wines and food. There will be experts on-site to help answer questions and suggest pairings.

Sunday (Jan. 19)

  • Adoption Fair at Just Cats in Reston (1 to 3 p.m.) — Anyone looking for a new furry friend can stop by the Just Cats Clinic (1601 Washington Plaza) to play with adoptable cats and see if they find a good match.
  • Self Guided Painting (3 to 7 p.m.) — Guests will have the chance to work off temples to paint various items during this opportunity for independent creation at Pinot’s Palette (12976 Highland Crossing Drive). The cost for this event is $25.

Photo via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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The 7th Annual Camp Expo in Reston will allow families from around the community to preview options for upcoming summer camps and youth sports leagues.

On Saturday (Jan. 25) people are invited to stop by the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 9 a.m. until noon to check out programming from more than a dozen featured organizations, according to the event’s Facebook page.

A Reston Camps spokesperson previously told Reston Now that January is a popular time for parents to sign their kids up for summer activities.

During the event, there will also be prizes, snacks, music and games for attendees to enjoy, the Facebook page said.

Featured event exhibitors listed on the Facebook event page include:

Image via Reston Community Center/Facebook

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Reston Community Center is contemplating its future as the center celebrates its 40th anniversary.

A special community event, “RCC’s Past and Future,” is set for Monday, Feb. 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).

RCC is set to present the results of its community survey, as well as lead a discussion on its planning pillars of facilities, community, building, programs and communications.

Here’s more from RCC on the event:

RCC convenes the Community Relations and Program/Policy committees jointly each February to hear from its stakeholders and partners. This year will be a special gathering not just for the anniversary celebration, but so RCC’s Board of Governors and staff members can gather feedback as the agency looks toward 2021, when the next five-year strategic plan will be written and adopted. 

“We conclude our present five-year strategic plan in 2021,” said Beverly Cosham, RCC Board of Governors Chair. “Our approach typically overlaps the final year of one strategic plan with the engagement process to find out what is on our community’s minds that will shape the next one. This year, we look back to acknowledge the tremendous impact of Reston creating its community center in the image of the community and what that meant for the past 40 years.”

RCC will be seeking input on the key topic areas of community interest. “We know that people want to discuss a possible performing arts venue; development of an online community calendar; partner challenges and other specific issues,” said Leila Gordon, RCC Executive Director. “This event is an opportunity to share views on those topics.”

Childcare for children ages 6 to 12 will be offered at the event. Translation support for Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Russian will also be available.

Registration is requested before the event online.

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Later this month, the Reston Community Center will host a three-day celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

On Saturday (Jan. 18), Sunday, (Jan. 19) and Monday (Jan. 20), people can attend a variety of events ranging from performances by the Reston Community Orchestra to community service projects, along with a keynote speaker luncheon. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Reston Community Center’s annual celebration.

Each day will feature different speakers and activities at various venues throughout the community.

Though most of the events are free, a few require registration or are accompanied by a fee, like the keynote address by Bakari Sellers. Tickets are $5 for Reston residents and can be purchased online.

This year’s community service project includes a winter coat drive for Cornerstones, a local non-profit. The RCC is also seeking volunteers for the community service project, the luncheon and a youth volunteer. Anyone interested can explore details online and register for positions.

A gallery will highlight artwork honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments and life by local elementary school students. The works will be on display at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from Jan. 11-31.

Image via Reston Community Center

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The opening of Reston Community Center’s renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center has been delayed again.

The 40-year-old facility, which has been undergoing a one-year renovation project, is expected to open on Jan. 27 due to issues uncovered in recent inspections and the permitting process, according to a statement by RCC issued Monday. Two new pools were expected to open on Jan. 6.

However, inspections uncovered issues with the facility’s fire alarm system, according got the county’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

“During testing of new fire alarm system components in the project area last week, it was discovered that our existing system and the pool system were on two separate relay paths,” said Gordon. “The strobe lights used in the pool are different from those in the rest of the building. Fire regulations require all building systems to be identical and on the same relay processes. We will have to replace existing strobe units inside the pool environment and connect those new ones to the building system. This will add time needed to order the parts and install them.”

Gordon said the facility’s electrical power service — which was part of the old venue — cannot power new lighting and emergency lighting. This unanticipated challenge will require RCC to replace and install additional components.

Here’s more from RCC on the issue:

In the interim, punch list and further equipment systems testing, including HVAC and pump issues, will be ongoing to ensure there will be no further complications with those areas.   

“We are going to use the time delay to assure that we run the pool systems sufficiently long enough to expose anything that needs to be tweaked before we reopen,” Gordon explained. “We are reaching out to our registered patrons, swim team users and to the public to help them plan accordingly.”

RCC is offering swim team users complimentary team practice when the pool reopens. A $1 access price for drop-in use will be offered in February. All patrons enrolled in affected classes will receive full refunds.

We know this has been an enormous burden to our regular swimmers and those wanting to enroll their family members in learn-to-swim programs. The two new pools are beautiful, and we are confident that swimmers will find them exciting to use. We are as eager to get the space open as the public is, and we hope this is the final delay in getting to that happy state.”

Photo via Reston Community Center

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The holiday season is here which means there are important closures around the area to keep in mind.

All Fairfax County government offices will be operating on a half-day schedule on Dec. 24 and be closed on Dec. 25.

For those who take public transit, the Fairfax Connector will operate on a normal schedule on both Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31), according to a Fairfax County Department of Transportation press release.

On Christmas Day (Dec.25) and New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) the buses will operate on a Sunday schedule. Times for specific busses can be found online.

Metro riders can also expect trains to run on a varied schedule during the holidays.

  • Dec. 24: 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 25: 8 a.m. t0 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 31: 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Jan. 1: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The United States Postal Service will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

All Reston Association offices, including the Central Services Facility and Nature House, will be closed Tuesday through Friday (Dec. 24-26). Offices will close at 1 p.m. on Dec. 31 and remain closed on Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day, according to the RA website.

Reston Community Center at Lake Anne will be closed on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) through New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) and will reopen on Jan. 2.

The Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods will be open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. It will be closed on Christmas. On New Year’s Day, the center will be open from noon to 5 p.m.

In Herndon, town offices will close at noon on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, according to a press release.

Trash will be collected on Tuesdays — Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 — instead of Christmas and New Year’s Day in Herndon.

The Herndon Community Center will have varied hours throughout the week:

  • Tuesday (Dec. 24): 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Dec. 25): closed
  • Thursday (Dec. 26): 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday (Dec. 31): 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Jan. 1): closed
  • Thursday (Jan. 2): 6 a.m. 10 p.m.

For golfers, the Herndon Golf Course also has a limited schedule — and if the weather cooperates.

  • Tuesday (Dec. 24): 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Dec. 25): closed
  • Tuesday (Dec 31): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday (Jan. 1): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Due to holiday festivities, Reston Now won’t be publishing on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. We will be pushing on a shortened schedule today from tomorrow (Dec. 24) to next Tuesday (Dec. 31).

Photo courtesy Reston Town Center 

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The Reston Community Center has once again delayed the opening date of its renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. The facility is expected to open in January, two months later than originally estimated.

Delays were caused by challenging completing interlocking activities, according to RCC. For example, work on plumbing, electrical and mechanical pumping systems is dependent on each other. Additionally, tiling must be done while the deck space is used to access other work areas.

In a statement posted online, RCC stated that Branch Builds, the contractor, expects the project to be completed by Jan. 3.

“Branch Builds is working with its sub-contractors to schedule as much work simultaneously as feasible, but this sequential nature of the work makes that challenging. As much weekend, overtime and extra work as possible is being scheduled to move forward expeditiously,”

Here’s more from the statement:

Of course, everyone involved with the project, and all of us at RCC, are extremely sorry about the delays and the disappointment they are creating for our patrons and swim teams. The special pricing we hoped to offer in December ($1 a swim) will be a “Happy New Year” offer to Reston patrons for the month of January. RCC is working with FCPS and hopes to provide assistance to the swim team to find alternative space for them until January. Our fervent hope is that we will meet this latest target date and be back in the swim of things at the outset of the New Year. We profoundly appreciate the public’s patience.

As a result, activities planned before Jan. 4 will be canceled and the start of Saturday and Sunday swim lessons will begin on Jan. 11. Learn-to-swim and exercise programming will remain on schedule, with a start date of Jan. 6.

RCC says it will monitor progress daily to determine if other action is needed. 

The facility — which was built in 1979 — was closed this year to jumpstart the renovation effort.

Photo via RCC

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