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by Dave Emke — August 10, 2017 at 11:30 am 2 Comments

Residents are being asked to steer clear of Terraset Elementary School on Friday, and they should not be alarmed if they see a large number of emergency responders there.

The fire and police departments will be at the school making sure they are prepared in the event of a nightmarish scenario.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue will be conducting an active-shooter training exercise at the school (11411 Ridge Heights Road). According to a press release, this is “primarily a fire and rescue training exercise, and they will be supported by the Fairfax County Police Department, the Town of Vienna Police Department and CIA officers.”

More than 30 fire and police vehicles are expected to be around the school and at nearby Langston Hughes Middle School for the exercise. Mannequins will be used for fire and rescue personnel to evacuate to local hospitals.

The activity at the school is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. While the school will remain open for those who need to conduct business there, residents are asked to stay away because of the many moving vehicles that will be in the area of the campus.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management offers information about what to do in an active-shooter scenario, as does Fairfax County.

by Dave Emke — July 31, 2017 at 9:00 am 21 Comments

Silver Line Struggling to Maintain Riders — Phase 1 of Metro’s Silver Line expansion fueled an unprecedented building boom in areas adjacent to its five stations, the Washington Post reports. However, the line has struggled to attract riders in the three years since it opened. Only the Wiehle-Metro East station is even close to projected ridership numbers. [Washington Post]

Remembering Bob Simon — In a piece for an English-language Indian newspaper, Manish Nandy remembers the stories Bob Simon told him during daily walks around Lake Anne. [The Statesman]

‘White Liberals Give Themselves Too Much Credit’ — In an opinion piece for an “intersectional feminist” magazine, a Restonian looks back on the death of Nabra Hassanen, saying that hate lives here and everywhere. [Wear Your Voice]

Work Today at Park & Ride — The access road to the Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride will have daytime lane closures for paving from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. Drivers should watch for flaggers, who will help direct traffic around the lane closures. [Fairfax County]

Teavana Stores Shutting Down — Starbucks announced last week will close all 379 of its Teavana stores, which it says have been underperforming. This will include the store in Reston Town Center (1826 Library St.). [CNN Money]

Get Ready for Terraset — All rising Terraset kindergarteners are invited to the Terraset playground from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in August to meet classmates and play on the new Terraset playground. The August kindergarten play dates are sponsored by Terraset Elementary School and Terraset Elementary Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). Representatives from the PTO will be on hand Aug. 2 and Aug. 9 to answer parent questions. No RSVP is required. [Terraset Parent Teacher Organization]

by Brooke Giles — June 16, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

There are some big events this weekend in Fairfax County, highlighted locally by the 27th annual Taste of Reston festival, tonight (3-11 p.m.) and Saturday (noon to 11 p.m.) at Reston Town Center.

The event is put on by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and features fine cuisine, family activities, live entertainment, beer and wine, cooking demonstrations from local chefs, and much more. Parking at Reston Town Center is free all day today and Saturday.

Down in Fairfax on Saturday, the county will be celebrating its 275th anniversary with a big event at the Historic County Courthouse (4000 Chain Bridge Road). Lord Nicholas Fairfax, a direct descendant of the county’s name-bearer, will be the guest of honor during the event, which will also include live entertainment, children’s activities, historical presentations and much more. The event is slated for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

And if you’re looking for something to do with dad this Father’s Day, the Fairfax County Park Authority has you covered:

  • Take dad to the Antique Car Show at Sully Historic Site (3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly) from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Come see more than 400 antique and classic cars. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for children.
  • Dads can tour the mill at Colvin Run (10017 Colvin Run Rd, Great Falls) for free on Sunday when they bring one of their kids. The tours will run from noon to 3:00 p.m.
  • Dads and kids between ages 2 and 6 can pretend to be penguins, wolfs and beavers as they learn about dads in the wild at the Hidden Oaks Center (7701 Royce Street, Annandale). The program is from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and costs $6 per child.

That’s far from all there is to do this weekend, though. Here is just a sampling of the many events you can enjoy:

  • Reston Station’s “Summerbration” series continues tonight at 7 p.m. with a free concert by The Bad Influence Band. Tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m., visit for a free outdoor showing of “Bad Moms” on the plaza. The Summerbration events outside the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station will continue through the end of August. (Note: To receive free parking for these events, parking tickets need to be validated by personnel on the plaza. Find the sign that reads “Parking Validation Here.”)
  • The Reston Farmers Market will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
  • Terraset Elementary School (11411 Ridge Heights Road) will have its first student-run farmers market event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. today.
  • Reston Town Square Park will be hosting Nicolo the Jester as a part of their Family Fun Entertainment Series Saturday morning at 10 a.m., for a free show. It’ll be fun for all ages as Nicolo brings a blend of poetry, music, juggling, comedy, character acting and audience participation.
  •  This Sunday at 7 p.m., the Shenandoah Conservatory Brass Quintet will be performing at Reston Town Square Park as a part of the Sunday Art In The Park series. The group will be playing selections spanning from Handel to Fats Waller.
  • Reston Museum (1639 Washington Plaza N.) is hosting is “Reston Stories” exhibit through July. The Reston Historic Trust and Museum has been collecting residents’ stories and preserving them for future generations. The collection includes stories about volunteering in Reston, the Fountain at Lake Anne Plaza, the early history of Reston and the amazing connections we make in our community.
  • Work out with Athleta in the Reston Town Center Pavilion Sunday morning from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
  • Tonight from 7-8 p.m. at Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive), bring the kids out for the Walking Stick Workshop. Prices are $7 for children, $9 for adults.
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) continues its series of live music tonight from 6-10 p.m. Afterward, let the live music continue at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St.) from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
  • Urinetown: The Musical” is being performed at NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive) through June 25. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. General admission tickets start at $40.
  • Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight at 9:30 p.m.
  • Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. This weekend’s performers are Jason Morton (Friday) and Jason Masi (Saturday).

by Dave Emke — June 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 20 Comments

Students who will be graduating from South Lakes High School next week walked familiar halls this morning to provide inspiration to the community’s youth.

In a new tradition, seniors were able to visit their elementary school alma maters and celebrate with the kids there. Schools documented via social media the occasion, which was described as a moving experience for all involved.

“This is the first year for this Graduate Walk but it went so beautifully that we hope to make it a yearly tradition,” said Emily Burrell, spokesperson for South Lakes High School. “It was an emotional experience for the soon-to-be graduates and their elementary teachers. And the elementary students were thrilled to celebrate the graduates. They even made signs in the South Lakes colors. There were tears of joy all around.”

Students who did not attend an elementary school in Reston were allowed to choose which school they visited, Burrell said.

South Lakes High School’s seniors will graduate during a ceremony Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School

by Brooke Giles — June 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

As the school year comes to a close, activities are in full swing at Terraset Elementary School.

Friday, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., the school will hold its first farmers market.

The event will showcase students’ work throughout the year. On display will be a student-designed storefront garage sale featuring gently used toys, books, clothing, and recycled and repurposed items. The school’s Hydroponics Team will be selling the plants they’ve been cultivating throughout the year and members of the Green Team will sell room sprays, healthful fruit drinks and combined essential oils that they’ve made.

The underground, green school focuses on getting kids outside and learning about their environment. The students created their own business plan to organize the event.

“The event is run by the children, it’s not all the adults. I’m really proud of them,” said Jann Canestra, the outdoor learning coordinator.

Canestra runs the school’s Green Hour, where every child goes outside for an hour each day. She says the kids are enthusiastic about getting outside the classroom.

Principal Lindsay Trout will be on the grill for the event, which is open to both students and community members. The school is located at 11411 Ridge Heights Road.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Public Schools

by Dave Emke — April 10, 2017 at 9:00 am 8 Comments

Herndon Man Dies in Route 7 Crash — Rush Hone Elmore, 69, died Friday after his vehicle was rear-ended near Leesburg. The impact of the crash forced his car off the roadway, where it overturned. He died at Reston Hospital Center. [Leesburg Police Department]

Units Respond to Kitchen Fire in Reston — Firefighters attacked a blaze Sunday afternoon at a home in the 12300 block of Brown Fox Way. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter]

Plum Campaign Event Set for April 30 — Del. Ken Plum (D-Fairfax) will kick off his campaign for re-election to the state House of Delegates with a fundraiser at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is scheduled to be in attendance to show his support. [Del. Ken Plum]

Reston Students Profiled in ‘KidsPost’ — Katie Damon’s second-grade class at Terraset Elementary School voted on their favorite author, singer, sport and more for a profile in this weekend’s Washington Post. The kids also reported what they want to be when they grow up and what superpower they’d like to have. [Washington Post]

Bridge Title Claimed by Herndon Woman — Li Yiting was part of the team that won the Machlin Women’s Swiss Teams event at the Spring North American Bridge Championships last month in Kansas City. This is her third championship win. [Fairfax Times]

by Dave Emke — April 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 5 Comments

Magazine Article Makes Case for Paid Parking at RTC — A breakdown of the paid-parking controversy at Reston Town Center that appears in the April issue of Washingtonian argues that “parking is never actually free” and that RTC “was designed so people could get there without a car.” [Washingtonian]

Fifth-Graders Debate School Issues — Students from Terraset and Forest Edge elementary schools recently worked on their speech-writing and public-speaking skills as they squared off in a debate. Topics argued during the event included school uniforms, homework and recycling. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

County Asks Residents to Report Potholes Properly — Sharing a news blast originally written last February, Fairfax County is reminding residents that they can call or use an online reporting tool to let VDOT know where potholes are in the county. [Fairfax County/Twitter]

Technology Services Company Moves to Reston — CDW has moved its D.C.-area headquarters, one of 24 offices nationwide, to Edmund Halley Drive. Among the features of the new space is a technology demonstration lab featuring the latest technologies from the company’s top partners. [CDW]

Fairfax County Republican Delegate Stepping Down — Del. Dave Albo (R-Fairfax), who has served the area in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1994, announced his retirement Wednesday on the House floor. Among his legislative contributions, Albo listed securing transportation funding for Northern Virginia, closing DUI loopholes, allowing marijuana-derived oils to be used to treat epilepsy, boosting punishments for child molesters and writing the language that banned smoking in restaurants. [Richmond.com]

by Karen Goff — September 13, 2016 at 1:00 pm 2 Comments

Repaired wall at Terrraset ES

It was a week ago – on the first day of the 2016-17 school year — that a passenger van crashed into a wall of Terraset Elementary School.

The crash damaged the wall outside the school’s new art room. There were no serious injuries.

Fairfax County Police said on Monday that the driver of the van — who was carrying children to afterschool care — may still be charged. No charges have been filed so far, and police have not identified the 55-year-old driver.

Crash at Terraset ESOver the weekend, crews worked to replace bricks and make other repairs to the hole in wall.

Last Tuesday was the first day in the fully renovated school after a more than two-year construction project.

Terraset Principal Lindsay Trout said the building suffered no structural damage after the crash.

Photos: Repaired wall damage, top; Van crashing into building on Sept. 6, bottom.

by Karen Goff — September 6, 2016 at 4:36 pm 2 Comments

A van carrying children to after-school care crashed into the side of Terraset Elementary School on Tuesday, narrowly missing youngsters leaving the school at dismissal.

The crash occurred about 3:45 p.m. as the school was dismissing students on the first day of the 2016-17 school year.

The commuter van driver apparently lost control of the van or lost braking ability, careening into the brick wall from the school’s bus lane. The van’s nose went through the wall and into the school’s kiln room.

“It sounded like an explosion,” said Terraset parent Peter Crowe, who was at the school to pick up his daughter.

Tuesday was Terraset students’ first day at the completely renovated school. The school, built in 1977, recently finished a multi-year, multimillion renovation project.

The van driver was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The three young children riding in the van were also evaluated by paramedics but appeared uninjured.

by Karen Goff — May 7, 2015 at 11:00 am 0

Terraset Elementary School’s lower grades moved into their new classrooms this week, more than a year after renovations began at the 37-year-old school.

When the work is complete, the school will have more than 100,000 square feet of new offices, art and music rooms, classrooms and parking areas. The new Terraset will expand from a capacity of 600 students to around 900.

The new library and lower grades wing is done, featuring lots of windows, natural light and — new at this open-concept school — doors for a quieter classrooms.

The lower grades had been housed on the other side of the school while the new wing was built. The upper grades have been having classes in 23 trailers on school grounds since last school year, said school principal Lindsay Trout. The upper grades will move back into the school when renovations are completed in 2016, she said.

Reston’s Sunrise Valley Elementary is also in the midst of an overhaul that should be done next year.

by Karen Goff — July 31, 2014 at 1:00 pm 6 Comments

Terraset staffer Deana Dueno (left) bringing summer reading to kids/Credit: Deana Dueno

With music blaring, a vehicle bearing treats came rolling through some of the neighborhoods near Terraset Elementary in South Reston on Wednesday night.

But it was not the ice cream man.

It was Terraset staffer Deana Dueno, who is hoping to encourage reading for the students this summer.

Dueno was formerly a classroom teacher at Terraset, where she amassed a large collection of books for her room over the past decade. She is transferring to the library this fall, so the classroom collection needs a new home.

In previous years, the school library was open summer hours for students to come in and read and check out books. But with Terraset in the midst of a huge renovation, that is not possible this year, says Dueno.

“I need to pass these books on and kids may need something else to read,” says Dueno. “And , if they haven’t read a thing yet — maybe this help!

Dueno — in her little blue car while playing Pharrell’s “Happy,” — visited neighborhoods off of South Lakes Drive Wednesday night and reports it was a huge success. She and her helpers will be out again tonight along Ridge Heights Road, and will likely drive around next week too, so listen for the song.

Kids are invited to take a book or trade a book. And donations for more books are being accepted. If you have books your children have outgrown and want to help, put your contact info in the comments below or email [email protected] and we will put you in touch.

Photo courtesy of Deana Dueno

by Karen Goff — July 8, 2014 at 9:30 am 3 Comments

Now that the students are finally off for the summer, the real work can begin at Reston’s Terraset Elementary School.

The school at 11411 Ridge Heights Rd. is undergoing a multimillion renovation. Many classes were moved into temporary classrooms this school year as the interior work began.

Late last week, work began on demolishing the dual pedestrian bridges that lead from the kiss-and-ride area to the school, which is partially built underground.

Terraset, as well as Sunrise Valley Elementary School, will transform from a late-1970s open classroom layout to a more traditional one. The Terraset renovations will increase the school’s capacity by about 300 students.

Also among the changes for Terraset:

  • 3,400-square foot administrative addition to the front entrance.
  • 7,613-square-foot art and music addition
  • 11,100-square-foot media and classroom addition.
  • 3,919-square-foot School Age Child Care addition
  • 7,521-square-foot west classroom addition
  • New kiss-and-ride area
  • New parking areas in various locations
  • Two asphalt play areas and a soccer field at the rear of the school

by Karen Goff — April 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm 2 Comments

Classic Reston banner

Classic Reston is a biweekly feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce that highlights businesses, places and people with deep roots in Reston.

The sounds of construction equipment are as common as the noise of schoolchildren as Reston’s Terraset Elementary School is in the midst of a major renovation and expansion.

When the work is complete, the school will have more than 100,000 square feet of new offices, art and music rooms, classrooms and parking areas. The new Terraset will expand from a capacity of 600 students to around 900.

Going away will be the dual pedestrian bridges over the courtyard that were part of the innovative design of the school when it was constructed in the 1970s. The school itself will remain mostly built into the landscape, something that earned it national attention when it opened in 1977.

Solar Panels at Terraset in 1970s/Credit: Reston Historic TrustTerraset, translated means “built into the earth,” and coming out of the 1970s energy crisis, the school was touted as the first school on the East Coast to use solar panels as an energy source. In the school’s early years, the solar panels stretched across the entry courtyard.

The Fairfax County School Board designed Terraset as an experiment in moving away from oil dependency at its schools. FCPS applied for a $625,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to pay for the panels, but it was turned down.

The county then found another money source for the project: Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the former king of Saudi Arabia.

The arrangement earned lots of national attention.

“I remember various times when there would be tour groups walking around the school, peeking into the wall openings,” said Susan Sather, a Reston resident who was a student at Terraset in 1977.

“Usually the groups were reporters, but at least a couple of times it was the Saudis in full length white robes with head coverings [but exposed faces].  I only remember Saudi men. I know the opening was covered by all the DC news channels, and everyone was watching that evening to see ourselves.”

But, alas, the panels were built for Saudi Arabia’s hot climate, not Virginia’s fluctuating temperatures. The energy savings were negated by repair costs and safety issues. Ice that formed on the panels in winter made several fall, and that was a safety hazard for children. The panels were removed in the late 1980s.

However, Terraset’s commitment to the earth remains. While the addition will provide a more traditional classroom structure for the building, the main part will remain underground. Children have always played on the “roof” of the school, which is a grass-covered field. Nearby is the school’s butterfly garden and an outdoor learning area.

Photo: Terraset’s solar panels in the late 1970s/Credit: Reston Historic Trust

by Karen Goff — January 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1 Comment

Map of Terraset path closure/Credit: RA

The Reston Association pathway on the east side of Terraset Elementary School, 11411 Ridge Heights Rd., will close for construction beginning next month.

The pathway will close in early-to-mid February and will not reopen until March or April of 2015, RA officials said.

The school will be gating the pathway on the west side of the building in the wooded area. The gate will be locked during school hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Signage will be placed at the first pathway intersection explaining the closures.

Fairfax County Public Schools will install detour signs guiding pathway users around the east-side construction area for after-school hours and on weekends.

No word yet on how the closures will affect the Reston Triathlon and other races, which often use that section of the RA paths.

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