Palchik Takes Position at Northern Virginia Transportation Commission — Dalia Palchik, the Providence District Supervisor, was recently sworn in as the vice chair of the commission. [NVTC]
Families of Four Eligible for COVID-19 Tests –Families of four in Virginia will be eligible for free at-home COVID-19 tests under a new Biden administration rule that requires insurance companies to cover the cost of tests. [Reston Patch]
Search for Schools Superintendent Underway — Virtual town halls are coming up to gather public feedback on the search for the new superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools system. [Reston Patch]
Person of Interest Sought in Falls Church Unlawful Filming Incident — Local police are seeking the public’s help to identify a person of interest in the unlawful filming of a minor in a restroom at the Surf N Suds in the Falls Church of Fairfax County. [FCPD]
Local Tennis Courts Reopen — The Hook Road tennis courts have been reopened and are ready to play. [Reston Association]
Input on Sign Regulation Sought — The county is seeking input on sign regulations during virtual meetings on Jan. 18 and Jan. 27. Changes will involve signs for for-sale properties, subdivision signs, and the comprehensive sign plan process. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Fairfax County Sees Record Tax Haul — Fairfax County saw a record tax haul in 2021. The assessed value of taxable property in the county rose by roughly $10 billion between fiscal years 2020 and 2021. [Washington Business Journal]
Booster Shots Encouraged — The Fairfax County Health Department is encouraging residents to get their booster shots, particularly as the Omicron variant emerges. [Fairfax County Government]
County Considers Big Pay Increases — The county is considering giving county and school staff big pay raises to make up for staff lost last year due to the pandemic. [Sun Gazette]
Tennis Courts to Close in Reston Next Week — Beginning Monday, tennis courts at Glade and North Hills will be closed for the season. The courts are expected to reopen in early April. Hard courts remain open year-round. [Reston Association]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Shadowood Courts Reopen Today — The tennis courts at Shadowood Recreation Area will reopen today. They were closed on Wednesday due to crack repairs. [Reston Association]
Safe Streets Discussion Underway — The county’s ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan team is seeking feedback on ways to address systemic traffic safety issues. A virtual meeting is planned for today at 6:30 p.m. [Fairfax County Government]
App Promotes County Breweries — Visit Fairfax, the official tourism organization for the county, has launched a new app that aims to promote the county’s craft breweries and wineries. Users can access to discounts, deals and prizes when they check in. [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Metro Restores More Service — After the Oct. 12 derailment of a 7000-series train in Virginia, Metro is increasing service on the red and yellow lines. Blue, Orange, and Silver lines will continue to run every 30 minutes while the Green line runs every 20 minutes. [Reston Patch]
Tennis Courts Closed for Repairs — The tennis courts at Lake Newport will be closed today. The closure impacts courts three to six and not courts one and two. [Reston Association]
Herndon Company Raises $145 Million — HawkEye 360 raised $145 million in series d round funding. The last round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners and Seraphim Space Investment Trust. [PR Newswire]
Cloudpermit Chooses Reston — The Finnish software company has made Reston its North American headquarters. The business employs 10 people and already has a small office in Reston. It hopes to double that headcount by the end of the year. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Aging courts in need of repairs, which have also been eyed for shared pickleball space and new lighting, will have to wait at Barton Hil Recreation Area.
The Reston Association Board of Directors voted 4-2 on Thursday (Oct. 28) to defer the matter to the 2023 budget. Directors Jennifer Jushchuk, John Mooney, Bob Petrine and Sarah Selvaraj voted in favor and directors Caren Anton and Tim Dowling were opposed.
“The response from the community is … overwhelmingly in favor of doing the … pickleball conversion and the lights,” Anton, the board’s chair, said before the vote. “It’s like 75 or 85% in favor.”
Jushchuk said she’s not getting that response from her members in the South Lakes District where the courts are. She said she tends to support more community outreach and wanted staff to have time in 2022 to have a plan to implement in 2023.
“I’m not saying that we should not do this,” Jushchuk said, adding, “We need some time to figure out” what RA is going to do, what it’s going to cost and looking at community buy-in.
Petrine said that there have been emails both for and against the project and he would want a more thorough review of the project before the association spends over $870,000 for the project.
The Barton Hill Recreation Area along Sunrise Valley Drive has no stoplight at an intersection with Barton Hill Road. At an Oct. 13 public hearing on the budget, one father noted safety concerns with a crosswalk and visibility for traffic there, recommending that issue be considered with upgrades.
The courts were built in 1985 and the association has discussed the possibility of adding roofing to the outdoor courts, but acting CEO Larry Butler said last month during a public hearing that’s no longer being considered.
When asked how quickly the courts would need to be replaced, Chris Schumaker, RA’s director of capital projects, said they wouldn’t necessarily need to shut the courts down, but he wondered how playable they would be given surface cracking that’s already there.
He said they’d likely have a lot more come spring given a freeze-thaw period.
The decision comes as the board is moving toward approving a 2022-2023 biennial budget. A second public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 10. A copy of the second draft of the budget is available online.
Mike Leone, a spokesperson for the association, said in an email that the fiscal committee will likely continue their budget discussions in November and the board will likely approve the final budget and the 2022 assessment rate at their Nov. 18 regular meeting.
Reston Association is considering a plan to improve the tennis courts at Barton Hill. Built in 1985, the courts suffer from major cracks along the concrete. In 2000, a proposal to cover and light the four unlit courts never materialized.
Since then, RA repaired and color-coated the courts in 2011 and 2017. The board is considering either a soft or hardcover for the court, lighting, and additional improvements.
At a Sept. 23 board meeting, staff presented two options — a single-phase option where all the work would be completed at one time — and a two-phase option in which lightning and court improvements would be followed by a cover five years later.
Chris Schumaker, RA’s capital projects director, recommended the association’s Board of Directors at a recent board meeting favor the single-phase option, which he said was cheaper and caused less disruption for users. Costs for covers linger between $1.4 to 2 million while installing lights and a refurbished court would cost between $720,000 and $895,000.
A recent geotechnical study on the courts found that the courts have been overplayed with asphalt several times in the past — creating upwards of four layers and resulting in reflective cracking.
RA is currently in the thick of developing its 2022 budget, which could include a six percent increase next year’s assessment. Discussions on the budget are currently underway and a draft budget is expected to be released by Oct. 4.
Covers would allow the courts to have extended seasonal play, but not year-round.
Next year, Reston Association plans to continue the rehaul of Lake Thoreau pool. In 2023, the organization plans to renovate Shadowood pool — pending input from the community and the board. The cost of that project is expected to hover around $1.3 million in addition to $575,000 for the renovation of the Glade tennis courts.
Construction of Lake Thoreau’s pool is expected to begin in November after the board approves a construction contract in October, according to meeting materials from a Sept. 23 board meeting.
Vaccine Mandate In Effect for Chamber Events — The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce is requiring attendees of in-person events to show proof of vaccination. Fully vaccinated attendees will not be required to wear a face mask. While some exceptions may be made, attendees who are not vaccinated can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the event. [Reston Patch]
Polo Tennis Court Closed — The tennis court will be closed for refurbishments beginning today. Repairs are expected to take between two and three weeks. [Reston Association]
Local Elementary School Earns High Honors — Sunrise Valley Elementary School has been named the 14th best elementary school in Fairfax County, according to a national ranking. [Reston Patch]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Crews appear to have aced the overhaul of Hook Road’s tennis courts, which are once again available for use.
Reston Association finished replacing the Hook Road courts with completely new asphalt court surfaces and coloring earlier this month.
The renovation also involved installing new fencing, drainage, access improvements, and energy-efficient LED lighting, which will be operational by this coming Friday (Aug. 20), according to RA’s capital projects webpage.
After closing for construction starting in March, the four courts opened back up Friday evening (Aug. 13). By Saturday morning, community members were already taking advantage of the refurbished facilities: a game unfolded on one court, while an instructor delivered a tennis lesson on another.
“They’re beautiful, they’re flat, and they play well,” one of the players, Reston resident George Jastrzebski, said of the new courts.
The overhaul of the tennis courts on Fairway Drive ends a years-long journey.
The project was part of a larger upgrade of the Hook Road Recreational Area that RA started working on in 2016. Other projects identified there in a conceptual master plan include improvements to the baseball fields and pathways.
Crews used heavy machinery to grind up the former courts, which were built in the mid-1970s. Crews mixed in cement then laid down the new courts.
Typically for tennis court renovations, Reston Association layers gravel and asphalt on top of the existing surface, but three layers had already accumulated on the Hook Road courts, so they decided to do more extensive renovations, RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker said in a Reston Today video in late March.
“It will be a much stronger base than prior ones,” Schumaker said in the video. “It should last significantly longer than prior court renovations. We’re usually expecting about 30 or 40 years out of this.”
He also said the project has the benefit of not sending the asphalt into a landfill.
Jastrzebski has played at the Hook Road courts “on and off” but said on Saturday that he might try to use the courts more now that they’re renovated.
Man Faces Additional Charge in Herndon Sexual Battery Case — After receiving more reports from victims, the Herndon Police Department has filed an additional charge of aggravated sexual battery in a case involving a local massage therapist. Zachary Nelson Guzman Orellana of Leesburg was arrested on June 30 and is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond. [Herndon Police Department/Twitter]
Dulles Airport to Get UV Disinfecting Tech — “The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority wants to install ultraviolet disinfection technology at Reagan National and Dulles International airports to disinfect the air in high-traffic areas…The agency is currently searching for a contractor to design and build the project, scheduled to be mostly complete by Nov. 15.” [Washington Business Journal]
Route 7 Access to Reopen in Great Falls Next Week — As part of the ongoing Route 7 widening project, drivers on westbound Leesburg Pike will encounter a line shift to the north between Baron Cameron Avenue and Great Passage Boulevard in Great Falls. Riva Ridge Drive will also regain access to Route 7. The changes will take effect on or around next Tuesday (July 13). [VDOT]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Reston Man Hospitalized After Assault — A man was “assaulted by several acquaintances inside his home” at the 11600 block of Stoneview Square on March 26, according to police. The victim reportedly “sustained cuts to his lower body” and was taken to the hospital “with serious injuries.” [FCPD]
Police Arrest Four Suspects in Home Burglary — The Fairfax County Police Department arrested four men after determining that they were involved in taking property from a house in the 10600 block of Water Falls Lane on March 28. “Detectives continue to investigate this case, confirm the men’s identities and their involvement in other burglaries,” police say. [FCPD]
Longtime Chemical Engineer Dies at Reston Hospital — William “Bill” Friend built a 41-year career in engineering that included election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and 21 years of work for the Reston-based Bechtel Group. At 86, he died from complications due to COVID-19 at Reston Hospital on Jan. 27. [The Washington Post]
Reston Association Opens Tennis Courts –“Reston Association’s clay courts at the North Hills and Glade tennis facilities opened April 1. Lights at these locations will be operational seven days a week between 6 p.m.-11 p.m. All players must have an RA 2021 recreation pass or a 2021 non-resident tennis pass to access the courts. Court monitors will be on site to check passes. Players are required to sweep the courts when they are done.” [RA Newsletter]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
(Updated, 4:40 p.m.) Reston Association is in the midst of renovating the Hook Road tennis courts on Fairway Drive.
Renovations began in early March and are expected to be completed by late June or early July, though RA Director of Capital Projects Chris Schumaker says that the project is currently ahead of schedule.
In a video update on the renovation, Schumaker explains that RA is doing a “full depth reclamation process” that involves pulling up the existing asphalt, grinding it up, and mixing it with cement so that it can be compacted and laid down as the base for the new tennis court.
On past tennis court projects, RA typically put down a layer of gravel and then added a new layer of asphalt over it, according to Schumaker, but due to the age of the Hook Road courts, which already had several layers of asphalt, they made the decision to instead start over.
By mixing in cement with the asphalt, it should provide a stronger base and make the courts last longer — perhaps as long as 30 to 40 years, Schumaker says.
Reston Association tells Reston Now that the project is estimated to cost $650,000, which also includes refurbishment of the multipurpose court.
The tennis courts renovations are part of a conceptual master plan for Hook Road recreational facilities that includes baseball field upgrades and pathway renovations.
Those portions of the project remain in the “engineering phase,” according to Schumaker.
Back in 2017, tempers flared at several meetings about the Hook Road project. It was related to then-RA Board of Directors Member Ray Wedell’s adamant disagreement with the project and confrontational tactics in expressing them. He subsequently resigned from the board.
Photo 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 Autumnwood courts will soon have better lighting.
Reston Association has kicked off a lighting project that will bring upgraded LED lights and automated lighting controls to the tennis and pickleball courts.
The project will cost $80,000, according to Mike Leone, RA’s spokesman.
The project is expected to begin today, according to a statement by Reston Association. The tennis facility will be closed until Feb. 15. But pickleball activities can continue on Lake Newport during construction at Autumnwood.
Later this spring, two of the tennis courts will be converted into four pickleball courts.
Once construction is completed and the Autumnwood courts reopen, Lake Newport’s courts will return to tennis only.
Lighting upgrades are also planned at the Hook Road tennis facility. That work is expected to begin in March, depending on the weather, Leone said.
Photo via Reston Association
Reston Association Courts Close for the Season — The clay tennis courts at Glade have closed for the season and will reopen in early April. The clay courts at North Hills will close next Monday and will also reopen in early April. [RA]
County Now Offers Contact Tracing Data — The county’s COVID-19 dashboard now includes data on contact tracing. Data show that the county has been able to reach roughly 82 percent of confirmed cases. [Fairfax County Government]
The Early Days of Reston — “At one time, Reston was just a short five to six-minute train ride away from Herndon on the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad,” writes Barbara Glakas. [Reston Patch]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Reston Association has begun reopening some of its tennis and pickle ball courts as Northern Virginia continues in week one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan.
So far, RA had adopted a phased approach that is expected to change in response to different guidelines offered by the state and Fairfax County.
Beginning tomorrow, the courts at Colts Neck, Barton Hill, Newbridge, Uplands and Upper lakes will be open at half capacity. Most of RA’s courts opened on May 30, with restrictions in place such as no lighted play after 9 p.m.
Here’s more from RA on decision-making approaches to determine openings:
Reston Association will use a phased approach to open tennis and pickleball courts as our region moves between phases outlined by state and local governments. Multiple factors have been considered in planning the reopening to include: information and requirements from state and local government officials, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) United States Tennis Association (USTA) and USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), area agency plans and the professional opinion of RA staff to operate in this environment.
The following is a breakdown of what’s open:
If social distancing guidelines are not followed, RA will close facilities.
Photo via RA