Reston, VA

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 The outdated facility was constructed in 1979.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

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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

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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:

Of course, everyone involved with the project, and all of us at RCC, are extremely sorry about the delays and the disappointment they are creating for our patrons and swim teams. The special pricing we hoped to offer in December ($1 a swim) will be a “Happy New Year” offer to Reston patrons for the month of January. RCC is working with FCPS and hopes to provide assistance to the swim team to find alternative space for them until January. Our fervent hope is that we will meet this latest target date and be back in the swim of things at the outset of the New Year. We profoundly appreciate the public’s patience.

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

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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

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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

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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.

File photo

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(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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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