Artist Creating Mosaic Public Art for RCC’s Aquatics Center Revamp

(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.

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Photos: RCC’s Aquatics Center Nears Halfway Point for Renovation

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

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Photos: Renovation on Track for RCC’s Aquatics Center

Two months down and about seven more to go for the renovation of the Reston Community Center’s  Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center.

RCC recently shared its monthly construction update on the project, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools.

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

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Photos: Work Underway for RCC’s Aquatics Center Renovation

Work is underway on Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center, which closed roughly one month ago for major renovations. 

RCC recently shared a construction update on the project, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools, along with photos of the progress.

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

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New Year, New Pool: What’s in Store for RCC’s Aquatics 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).

Contractor Branch & Associates started the work today on the project, which will update the 40-year-old aquatics center with two pools.

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 RestonReston Association and Herndon Community Center.

Renderings via Reston Community Center

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Take One Last Splash Before Work Begins on Reston Community Center’s Aquatics Center

Take one last splash in the pool at Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center before it closes for renovations.

Built in 1979, the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will undergo a more than $5 million renovation starting on Jan. 2.

The pool area is expected to reopen in October, featuring an expanded lap pool with a zero-depth entry and water play area and another pool for warm-water therapy, exercise and teaching.

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. Patrons can pick up a “Construction Pass” at RCC’s Customer Service desks to take to the partner locations and get special rates.

“The Last Splash Aquatics Renovation Party” is set for Friday (Dec. 28) from noon to 9:00 p.m. Admission is $1. The pool party will include open swimming with games and races, music, a farewell gift and a graffiti wall for locals to pen their pool goodbyes.

Rendering via Reston Community Center

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Reston, Herndon and Fairfax County Holiday Closures

In case you were planning to visit these government facilities around Fairfax County during the holiday season, check to see whether or not they will be closed on Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Christmas (Dec. 25), New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31) and Jan. 1.

Fairfax County 

Fairfax County’s government offices, libraries and courts will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and Jan. 1.

The county’s public schools will be on winter break from Monday, Dec. 24, until Friday, Jan. 4.

The Fairfax Connector will be running on a holiday weekday schedule for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. A full list of routes running in the Reston area is available online. The next day, the bus will operate on a Sunday schedule for Christmas and Jan. 1.

Frying Pan Farm Park and Colvin Run Mill Historic Site will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

County trash and recycling collection will not happen on Christmas. The updated collection schedule for next week is:

  • Tuesday customers will have collection on Wednesday (Dec. 26)
  • Wednesday customers will have collection on Thursday (Dec. 27)
  • Thursday customers will have collection on Friday (Dec. 28)
  • Friday customers will have collection on Saturday (Dec. 29)

Reston

The Reston Association offices will be closed for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

Nature House will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Reston Community Center Lake Anne will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

Reston Community Center at Hunters Woods will be closed on Christmas. It will have modified hours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and from noon to 5 p.m. on Jan. 1.

The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will be closed on Christmas. It will have modified hours from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and from noon to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 1.

Herndon

Town of Herndon government offices will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas and Jan. 1.

Refuse will be collected on Christmas Eve, but refuse normally collected on Tuesdays will be collected on Thursday (Dec. 27) and New Year’s Eve.

The Herndon Community Center will be closed on Christmas and Jan. 1.

The Herndon Centennial Golf Course will only be closed for Christmas.

Metro, DMV and more

All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

The Metro and Metrobus will be running a Sunday schedule on Christmas and Jan. 1, operating from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Metro will provide special late-night rail service on New Year’s Eve with trains running until 2 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Speaking of closed offices, Reston Now will be on breaks for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Jan. 1.

File photo

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Where to Go When the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center Closes for Renovations

The Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will be closed for renovations beginning in early January through October of next year, bringing two pools to the community.

Ahead of the anticipated closure, Reston Community Center is offering some alternatives for current swimmers who use the facility. Fairfax County YMCA-Reston, Herndon Community Center and Reston Association will offer special pricing options during the construction period for RCC patrons.

RCC patrons will receive a construction pass with the individual’s name and address, allowing pass holders to benefit from specific services provided by the partners.

In order to receive the pass, patrons must complete a registration form. Payments to access facilities can be made at the partner facility and only provide access to facilities and the use of pools or fitness areas.

More information about pricing is available online.

File photo

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What’s Going On In Reston This Weekend?

Reston Community Players’ first show of their 52nd season kicks off tonight with a performance of Hairspray. The musical is presented in partnership with Music Theatre International.

Tonight’s show begins at 8 p.m. and performances are scheduled for Saturday and next weekend as well. Details about upcoming shows are available online. Tickets are $28 for adults and $24 for seniors and students.

(Editor’s Note: This is just a limited list of all the events taking place in the Reston area this weekend. If you have an event you would like to ensure is listed on the website, be sure to submit it to our Events Calendar.)

  • If you’d rather see a show about South Africa’s fragile democracy, you can take part in a viewing and discussion on the topic at Reston Regional Library today from 2-4:15 p.m.
  • Halloween is just around the corner and kids between the age of six months and 12 years can enjoy the first-ever “Boo at the Pool” at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center from 1:45-2:30 p.m. Registration is $4 for Reston residents and $8 for all others. Treat will float for little ones and others will sink into the pool for a little more adventure.
  • If you’d rather keep water out of Halloween fun, infant and kids up to 8 years old can take part in Halloween Family Fun Day at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The event includes carnival games, a musical performance and a puppet show. The event is free.
  • Keep Reston beautiful by taking part in a fall stream clean up on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet up at Hunters Woods Village Center to help restore Reston’s streams. All ages are welcome but kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Reston Association also needs help monitoring local streams on Saturday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Volunteers will work with a small team to collect data and identify insects, with the ultimate goal of assessing the health of the stream.
  • A book club about books and their movie adaptations is set for Sunday at 4 p.m. at Scrawl Books. This month’s book is Crazy Rich Asians.
  • Reston Town Center will become the site of a 4K walk and run organized by Shatterproof, a national organization that aims to end the stigma against addiction. The event runs from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • RA is also organizing a chartered bus trip to Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Reston’s sister city of Columbia, Md. Participants will enjoy a buffet lunch and see “Ain’t Misbehavin'”. The event will run from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are $75 for RA members and $85 for all others.
  • On Sunday, bestselling author and LGBTQ activist Armistead Maupin will speak at the RCC Hunters Woods at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 for Reston residents and $30 for all others.
  • Kids can test their opening tactics and ending strategies at Reston Regional Library’s chess club for kids on Sunday from 2-3 p.m.
  • The 20th anniversary of Acoustic Jam is on for Sunday from 1-4 p.m. The event, which takes place at Frying Pan Farm Park, is free.
  • And Professor Harry Butowsky’s six-part lecture series on the history of World War II continues on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Reston Regional Library.

Photo via Reston Community Players

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Friday Morning Notes

Community remembers Ellen Moyer — Moyer, a lifelong Reston resident, a prominent community member, a graduate of South Lakes High School and a local agent, passed away suddenly while celebrating Rosh Hashanah with her family. [Around Reston]

The end is near — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the location of the company’s second headquarters would be revealed by the end of the year. [The Hill]

Family splash tonight at Reston Community Center — Take a dip in the pool and enjoy a night of family fun at the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. The entry fee is $13 for Reston residents and $26 for all others. Groups of six or more must pre-register by calling 703-390-6150. [Reston Community Center]

Not out of the woods yet — Although forecast models show Hurricane Florence may not bring excessive rain to the area, county officials urge residents to continue monitoring the storm, which could dump rain in the area over the weekend and early into the week. [Fairfax County Government]

Nearby: A local police officer’s suicide — In order to spread awareness about postpartum depression disorders and suicide,  the local police department shared a story about late Detective Shelane Gaydos, a mom of four who killed herself in late 2015. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center Will Not Close During Annual Maintenance Period This Year

Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will remain open in late August and through early September, a period during which it is typically closed for annual maintenance.

For the last 39 years, the center has been closed for roughly three weeks during this time window. But ahead of next year’s renovation, there will be no maintenance period this year, according to Leila Gordon, RCC’s executive director.

When the major renovation project begins in January next year, the center is expected to close for several months. It recently added new sessions of adult and youth swim lessons, in addition to swim, open swim and drop-in classes it already offices.

A family splash event will also take place on Friday (August 31) from 7-9 p.m.

RCC will be closed on Labor Day (September 3).

Photo via RCC

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Renovation of Reston Community Center’s Aquatics Center On Track

The renovation of the Reston Community Center’s Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center is on track to begin in January. The center’s roof will also be replaced, adding an expense of roughly $300,000 to the overall $5.5 million budget.

Construction costs have been driven up due to last year’s hurricane seasons, which created labor and material shortages and the impact of the Trump administration’s actions on tariffs. According to the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services, construction costs have increased between 16 and 20 percent.

Despite changes in construction costs, the project is expected to remain on-budget, according to Leila Gordon, RCC’s director. Expected cost increases will be absorbed by using $45,000 previously allocated to replace the building’s hot water heater and year-end surpluses.

“Our reserves profile will remain well in excess of $1 million for both FY19 and FY20,” Gordon said.

Thus far, the pool will remain open until construction begins. Patrons will be given information about the project and other swimming options in September.

Gordon said she is confident the pool will offer a “modern, mechanically efficient environment” to serve patrons for the next couple of decades. Reston patrons can use the Herndon Community Center by paying 10 percent more than Herndon residents — a decrease from the usual 25 percent upcharge.

The Board and staff remain convinced that this renovation project is going to be of great benefit to the community – nearly doubling our present service capacity for different aquatics programming and service options,” she said.

Construction is expected to be complete in October of next year.

Renderings via Reston Community Center

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Reston Community Center to Hold Annual Public Hearing This Month

Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors will hold an annual public hearing on the center’s programs and budget on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. in RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). 

The hearing will include a presentation about RCC’s highlights and challenges over the past year. Information will also be presented on the center’s budget appropriate for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.

Updates on the renovation of the Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center will also be provided.

Attendees are encouraged to RSVP to [email protected] by June 15 (Friday). Written comments and questions can also be submitted via email.

File photo

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South Lakes High School Graduate Heads Aquatics

Reston Community Center is welcoming one of its own to head the aquatics department.

Matthew McCall, a 41-year-old South Lakes High School graduate, takes over the role of  Joe Leary, who retired last year after working for RCC for 27 years.

“I was amazed at how much Reston has grown over the years but excited to learn that the same principles and values of inclusion and caring are still so evident here,” said McCall.

McCall graduated from SLHS in 1995 and competed for the school’s swim team. His first aquatics job was as a lifeguard for Reston Association.

He swam collegiately at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Virginia Commonwealth University. He previously held aquatics leadership positions in Orlando with Walt Disney Company and St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Peters, Missouri.

At the center, he was the recreation leader for aquatics in a center with a 50-meter indoor pool and a diving facility that hosted the 2004 U.S. Olympic Diving Trials.

McCall said he hopes to encourage more people to swim through his position. “Our goal is to give every child in Reston that skill,” he said.

In a statement, RCC executive director Leila Gordon lauded McCall’s “incredible enthusiasm.”

“I am sure his expertise is going to lend itself to future success in the renovated Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center,” she said.

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Rough Timeline Set for Upgrades to Reston Community Center’s Aquatics Facility

(Editor’s Note: This article was updated at 3:25 p.m. to clarify information about when the construction will begin and how long the facility will be closed.)

Upgrades to the Reston Community Center’s aquatics center are expected to begin in early 2019.

RRMM/Lumire, an architecture firm selected by Fairfax County in July, will submit an assessment of the Terry L. Smith Aquatic Center‘s current conditions and recommendations about renovations to the county and the RCC’s Board of Governors by the end of the month.

The $5.5 million price-tag for the project includes $3.5 million for construction and roughly $2 million for permitting, architectural and engineering costs, according to RCC director Leila Gordon. The cost also includes related studies of soil conditions and other pre-existing conditions issues that will need to be examined fully before the full architectural and engineering design is accomplished, Gordon said.

Gordon previously told Reston Now the project would not impact tax rates.

The proposal calls for using the existing footprint of the center for a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool with an attached family pool, as well as a separate warm-water therapy pool.

According to information provided by Gordon, the entire calendar year of 2018 will be taken up by pre-construction activities.

“We hope, in fact, that the maintenance we did this year will allow us to remain open continuously through December 2018,” Gordon said. “The construction start date is not until January 2019.”

The project is expected to be completed around October 2019.

“We’re pleased with the process so far and the support we’re getting from the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services and the Department of Management and Budget,” she said. “We’re pleased with the architectural and engineering team that’s working on the project and we hope to remain pleased.”

RCC’s Board of Governors expects to discuss the architecture firm’s report this month.

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