A $5.5 million project to replace an aging pool at the Reston Community Center has earned another award for its environmental stewardship.
The Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council, an advisory group appointed by the Board of Supervisors, has recognized the Reston Community Center with its 2021 Environmental Excellence Awards. The awards recognize people, organizations and businesses who advance or support the county’s environmental efforts, go above and beyond their typical civic responsibilities and demonstrate leadership in the community.
The project involved the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. RCC previously noted the renovation “replaced a 40-year-old pool and its aging infrastructure with two new, state-of-the-art pools: a 25-yard lap pool and a warm water exercise pool.” It opened in January 2020 after a year of construction.
“This year’s awardees have done far more than just demonstrate their passion for environmental issues. They have changed the face of our community by giving their time, energy, and expertise during an exceptionally challenging year,” Stella Koch, chair of the Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council, said in a statement.
The awards, announced Nov. 9, noted the following for the pool project:
In 2020, the Reston Community Center (RCC) unveiled a completely renovated aquatics center, replacing the aging infrastructure of the original pool with two new pools and other physical improvements. This $5.5 million project incorporated a number of environmentally friendly features, consistent with RCC’s commitment to environmental stewardship. More than 177 tons of construction materials were recycled over the course of the project, natatorium-rated LED light fixtures were installed, and the HVAC and pool systems were replaced with more efficient equipment.
Other awardees ranged from former Fairfax County Environmental Quality Advisory Council member Debra Ann Jacobson, who died in September 2021, to county workers including landscape architect Suzanne Foster and counselor/therapist Sarah King.
Details on their environmental leadership as well as records of previous winners from earlier years are available online.
Last month, the nonprofit Virginia Recreation and Park Society recognized the RCC renovation in its bricks and mortar awards category during an annual awards ceremony.
The statewide group applauded the $5.5 million Reston pool project as the best new renovation of bricks and mortar projects in the state in 2020, and it presented Bouie with a Distinguished Volunteer Service award.
The organization handed out awards Tuesday in Harrisonburg during its annual conference.
Bouie, a telecommunications executive, coach, athlete and youth sports advocate, is the vice chair of the nine-member Reston Community Center board and has helped in key roles for the organization. He’s been with the RCC Board of Governors since 2003.
“No one has embodied Reston values more than Bill Bouie,” Leila Gordon, RCC executive director, said in a news release. “He gives and engenders respect; he believes in the power of each individual to contribute to the common good if they are given the tools to realize their potential. Bill makes us all better by showing us the example of someone who is a true servant leader and who loves building community.”
He was instrumental in advising RCC on a National Recreation and Park Association accreditation in 2020 and an enthusiastic participant in RCC’s “Equity Matters” film discussions created in response to the police murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 and renewed community focus on racial justice, the organization noted in a news release.
Bouie also serves as chair of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board, and he has served in leadership roles for the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Leadership Fairfax, Public Art Reston, and Reston Herndon Little League, among others.
Regarding the pool renovation, RCC board chair Beverly Cosham noted how patrons love the new pools, and she says the organization shares pride with its colleagues at Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services who oversaw the project.
The RCC noted the pool project “replaced a 40-year-old pool and its aging infrastructure with two new, state-of-the-art pools: a 25-yard lap pool and a warm water exercise pool.” It opened in January 2020 after a year of construction.
RCC also noted the project included improvements for water- and electricity-savings, updated locker rooms, a new roof, recycling of materials and custom mosaic public art. And it was completed under budget, allowing more than $800,000 in unused contingencies to be returned to RCC’s reserves.
Eight Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Service infrastructure projects have received awards from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Public Works Association.
Five of those projects were named “project of the year” in their respective categories, including the renovations done at the Reston Community Center Aquatics Facility and the Innovation Center Metro Station parking garage in Herndon.
Three other projects were named as “honorable mentions.”
DPWES received more accolades from APWA than any other municipality in the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
Renovations at RCC’s Aquatic Facility (Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center) were completed early last year. They included the installation of a new lap pool, warm water pool, zero entry pool with water features, mosaic artwork, updating ADA accessibility, and a new roof.
In total, the project cost about $5 million.
The work earned the department an award for “project of the year” for structures costing between $5 million and $25 million.
The parking garage at the Innovation Center Metro Station was also completed in the first quarter of 2020 and was a more expensive project.
Costing $52 million, the eight-level, 2,100 space parking garage was built with the intention of serving the Innovation Center Metro Station in Herndon. That station is part of Silver Line Phase 2 which is not yet operating due to delays.
The project actually came about 10% under budget despite the garage having problems with it “sinking” back in 2018.
It won “project of the year” for structures costing between $25 to $75 million.
Other Fairfax County projects to win awards include Scott’s Run Trail in McLean, a sewer emergency construction project at Backlick Run in Springfield, and Tertiary filter rehabilitation project at the pollution control plant in Lorton.
Photo courtesy of Fairfax County
After a months-long shutdown, Reston Community Center is opening its doors to the public within limited programming next month. The center’s Hunters Woods and Lake Anne facilities will reopen on July 6, including the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.
Summer camps are still canceled and on-site concerts are delayed until at least August. RCC will also resume room rental reservations in late August.
Registration for summer programming will kick off online at 9 a.m. on June 26. Printed registration forms will be accepted at the entrance of RCC Hunters Woods the same day from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. All participants must either register or reserve their pass use time.
“We are following all the relevant guidance to keep the number of people in our spaces at any given time within the limits that will promote good health. More than anything, we want to be sure that people can come and go from RCC and our programs with confidence that they are not putting themselves at risk of compromising their well-being,” said Leila Gordon, RCC’s Executive Director. “It will take the cooperation of everyone – patrons and staff – to keep our operation as safe as is humanly possible.”
Here’s more from RCC:
Aquatics – Aquatics visits will be by reservation or registration only; there will be no drop-in visiting. This will allow for the required distance and capacity restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For more information, visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com/aquatics.
Other programming – Please visit myRCC to see other RCC summer program offerings. Smaller class maximums will be in place to assure the required social distancing. Registration is best accomplished online via myRCC. Paper registration forms will be accepted at the entrance area of RCC Hunters Woods beginning Friday, June 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The RCC Customer Service Desks at both locations will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, July 6, for normal operations.
Enhanced hygiene and social distancing – Patrons and staff must wear masks and maintain six feet of social distance in the public areas within the building; patrons in programs without physical exertion requirements are expected to keep wearing their masks. Program space will be designed to maintain six feet of social distance during the program. For fitness and water classes, masks will not need to be worn, but the distances required between people will be greater – 10 feet between people swimming will be enforced, and a 10-foot radius for each person in a fitness class will be provided.
Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available in both facilities and patrons will be requested to wash hands before and after activities. Signage and other measures will be used to avoid traffic bottlenecks at the entrances.
Virtual Programming – RCC is uploading a variety of virtual youth, fitness and arts videos for instruction at home and entertainment. These include popular RCC offerings like Qi Gong Restorative Yoga, Hatha Yoga I, Pilates Mat, Zumba Fitness, and Hi Lo Strength fitness classes. For young people, How to Make a Mask, Learn to Cross Stitch, and Making Breakfast; as well as arts and craft ideas from the Lake Anne Art Rave for Kids (LARK) inventory of fun will be filmed and presented on the RCC YouTube channel. The Reduced Shakespeare Company is presenting a special program just for Reston audiences virtually on July 12. Four more concerts are being filmed for the RCC YouTube channel.
Offsite programming – All of RCC’s summer events and concerts at Reston Town Square Park are canceled. RCC’s summer events and concerts at Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station are postponed. If possible, performances at Lake Anne Plaza and Reston Station may begin with Thursday evening, July 30 and run through August with audience social distancing protocols in place. Concerts will only be presented if audiences maintain safe distances for these presentations.
For Reston residents, fall registration will be pushed from the traditional August 1 deadline to September 1 in order to give county health officials more time for planning. The deadline for all others is August 8 and September 8 respectively.
Photo via RCC
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
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
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:
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
The nine-month renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is gearing up for its final stages. It will likely reopen in early November.
The 40-year-old center is receiving a makeover that adds two pools — a 25-yard lap pool and a warm-water therapeutic pool — along with a new roof.
In June, work on the new roof continues and the two pools are beginning to take shape. Work on plumbing and changes to designed mechanical systems has also been underway.
The deepest part of therapy pool is 750 square feet and is designed for 15 people for aqua aerobics and other exercise. The shallow side of the pool has about 900 square feet of usable area for aquatic programming. Because the overall area is not a rectangle, a class of 20 people can be accommodated.
RCC staff are planning to develop a schedule to reopen pools. Project completion is scheduled for October and pool reopening is scheduled for early November. The center is also looking to hire lifeguards and instructors.
Photos via Reston Community Center
Reston Community Center’s leadership is looking ahead to new initiatives by 2021, including launching a comprehensive community survey, redesigning its website, and the completion of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.
At its annual meeting this month, RCC’s leadership presented highlights, challenges, and ongoing plans for the coming years. Initiatives in the works include the following:
- Scheduling accreditation visit and achieving Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accreditation
- Continuing to explore new performing arts venues and plan for capital reinvestment in existing facilities
- Building community awareness, pride and cohesion
- Move programming closer to Reston residents and employees
- Launching a comprehensive community survey by next month
The ongoing renovation of the aquatics center is expected to be completed by October. The most difficult aspect of the project — timing of materials and crews, as well as hiring and training — lies ahead.
RCC is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Rendering via Reston Community Center
Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors is holding its annual public hearing on programs and budget next week.
The meeting is set for Monday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
During the meeting, the public will get a glimpse of RCC’s plans for the future and highlights and challenges over the past year.
Attendees will also receive the center’s annual report and strategic plan for 2016-2021.
A nine-month renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is underway. The 40-year-old center will get two pools — a 25-year lap pool with zero-depth entry and a warm-water therapeutic pool — along with a new roof.
The renovated facility is set to reopen in October.
RSVPs are requested by emailing [email protected] by Friday, June 15. Attendees should include their full name and address.
RCC is governed by a nine-member board appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Selections are based on the preferences of residents and businesses in Small District 5, which the center serves.
(Updated) Reston will welcome a new public art piece when the Reston Community Center debuts its newly renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center in the fall.
RCC chose mosaic artist Valerie Theberge to create mosaic artwork for two large wall panels adjacent to the pool overlook area.
RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon told Reston Now that having Theberge on board from the start of the renovation, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools, allows for the engineers, designers and the artist to plan how the wall with the art will look and get used, with conversations ranging from color palettes to electrical engineering decisions.
Theberge has been working with the project team, which includes RCC’s Deputy Director John Blevins and Martha Sansaver, Karen Davis and Geoff Kimmel from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the contracting firm Branch Builds — previously named Branch & Associates.
Currently, Theberge is in the preliminary design stages for the art, which will occupy two main panels that are about 50 square feet each.
“I keep getting snapshots of what’s going to come and it keeps percolating, because we have been talking about this for a year,” she told Reston Now. “It will be strong and vocal.”
Unlike her previous mosaic art at the Glade Drive Underpass and the Dogwood Pool, Theberge says this piece is influenced by its different location, one that she describes as indoors, focused on people instead of nature and “white, clean, quiet.”
“The other ones are very earth-centered and this is very water-centered,” Theberge said, adding that she plans to add “sparklers” so that viewers will feel movement in the art.
In a group interview with Reston Now, Theberge and Gordon shared different elements that stand out to them about the aquatics center, including the contrast between the water’s buoyancy and the hard surfaces on the ground, the windowless cave-esque location, the polarity between the exterior and interior worlds and the action of people stripping off layers of clothing before they get into the water. While some of those evocative ideas might sound harsh or vulnerable, Gordon emphasized that “it is hard to be hostile in the presence of art.”
Once Theberge has a design, she said she will build the two pieces in her studio before they get bolted onto the wall.
Once installed, community engagement activities and art workshops will allow Restonians to respond to the art. “It’s not one monolithic swimming community. There are families. There are older adults. There are swim teams, and every one of those groups of people have different desires,” Gordon said.
The Reston Community Center is now in its fourth month of a nine-month renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.
Demolition of the existing pool and surrounding deck, which started in late January, finished in March, according to an update from RCC. The demolition resulted in more than eight tons of steel from the ductwork and ceiling that will get recycled. Several tons of concrete, rebar, stainless steel drains and other materials were salvaged.
“In addition, the excavation revealed that the years-long water infiltration problems RCC experienced probably resulted from a combination of poor drainage and water leaking from the pool shell,” the April 1 update said, adding that the project will include corrective measures for the drainage issues and ensure the new pools have water impermeable shells.
The 40-year-old aquatics center is getting a makeover that will add two pools — a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry and a warm-water therapeutic pool — along with a new roof. The facility is slated to reopen in October.
Photos via Reston Community Center
Two months down and about seven more to go for the renovation of the Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.
Two progress meetings took place before March 1, and the project “remains on schedule and on budget,” according to the post.
Demolition started in late January and continued through February. The demolition is expected to finish in early to mid-March, the post says.
The newly renovated facility, which will include a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry, a warm-water therapeutic pool and a new roof, is slated to reopen in October.
Photos via Reston Community Center
Work is underway on Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center, which closed roughly one month ago for major renovations.
RCC staff vacated the area after the pool was drained in early January, according to the update.
Recently, the crew from Branch & Associates has been removing wiring and ductwork in the ceilings and walls. The contractors have installed a safety railing around the pool and covered the overlook windows, the update says, adding that the crew was slated to put in a construction camera last week.
Locals might have noticed that a construction fence and work trailer are now outside in RCC’s parking lot.
RCC says that it will post monthly construction updates with photos, allowing people can follow along with the progress on the pools.
The renovated facility, designed by RRMM-Lukmire Architects, will include a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry, a warm-water therapeutic pool, updated infrastructure systems and a new roof. It is slated to reopen in October.
Photos via Reston Community Center
The Reston Community Center kicked off the more than $5 million renovation of the Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center today (Jan. 2).
After the final open swim time ended yesterday, the process of draining the pool began.
That process starts with neutralizing the pool water for several days to allow chlorine to dissipate before slowly draining the water, ensuring that it does not erode stream banks downstream of the pool.
“Draining the water is a controlled process to avoid overwhelming any part of the surrounding environment,” RCC’s Executive Director Leila Gordon who said that the team will follow strict environmental standards throughout the process.
In addition to Gordon, the project team includes Branch Project Manager Bill Ruschaupt, RCC’s Deputy Director John Blevins and Martha Sansaver, Karen Davis and Geoff Kimmel from DPWES.
Branch & Associates was selected as the contracting firm for the project after Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services opened a pre-bid qualification process in October.
RCC chose mosaic artist Valerie Theberge to create a mosaic artwork installation for the large wall areas adjacent to the pool overlook area.
Gordon said that the new artwork by Theberge — the artist behind the Glade Drive underpass and a mosaic water feature at Dogwood Pool — will “add to Reston’s wonderful public art collection.”
The renovated facility, designed by RRMM-Lukmire Architects, will include a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry, a warm-water therapeutic pool, updated infrastructure systems and a new roof. It is slated to reopen in the fall.
During the construction period, Reston patrons can receive discounted rates, which are offered through RCCs’ partnership with the YMCA Fairfax County Reston, Reston Association and Herndon Community Center.
Renderings via Reston Community Center