After 30 years serving kids in Reston, the Robert E. Simon Jr. Children’s Center prepares to celebrate its upcoming anniversary.
Though they don’t have their own celebration planned, Emily Riordan, one of the center’s board members said that they are planning on celebrating during Reston’s Founders Day later in March and April.
So far, Riordan said they are unsure what surprises are in store for the celebration, but they will have a better idea after the board meets to discuss details in the following weeks.
Looking back, the center’s largest “contender” and struggle has been real estate changes, according to Riordan.
In 2015, the center relocated from its original location near Reston Town Center at Cameron Glen Drive and took over space at 12005 Sunrise Valley Drive.
The former site allowed kids to interact with senior citizens at a nearby facility — fulfilling Robert Simon’s dream of multi-generational interaction, Riordan said.
Within the last year, the center decided to switch spaces in the building to accommodate more kids.
“We have our own entrance and access to our playground,” she said. “We are able to make our mark in that space.”
Though Riordan couldn’t speak to changing demographics within the community, she said the center, which is under capacity, can accommodate 110 kids between ages three months to 5 years.
Robert E. Simon Jr. Children’s Center celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday by cutting the ribbon on its new headquarters.
After more than two decades on Cameron Glen Drive, the child care facility had to move as the former building, owned by Inova, is part of the land slated for redevelopment as mixed use and park space in the Town Center North area. Cameron Glen Care Center, a nursing home that shared the building with the child care center, moved to Potomac Falls in 2014.
Local dignitaries such as Rep. Gerry Connolly, Del. Ken Plum, State Sen. Janet Howell, Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and school board rep Pat Hynes were on hand to open the new center, along with Reston founder Robert E. Simon Jr.
The new space, located at 12005 Sunrise Valley Dr., expands the center by 3,000 square feet, says Raquel Witkin, the center’s Relocation Committee Chair.
The space was designed by J3 Design Collective and built by Palmer’s Contracting Group. All Recreation of Virginia provided and installed all new playground equipment and safe rubber surfacing.
The school embarked on a Capital Campaign earlier this year and raised more than $50,000 in donations, Witkin said. That money will be used to outfit and furnish the new space.
Photo: Local dignitaries at opening of new RObert E. Simon Children’s Center/Credit: Gerry Connolly’s office.