RCC Considering New Indoor Pool/Rec Center
Reston Community Center, Fairfax County Park Authority taking public feedback for potential facility at Baron Cameron Park.
Reston Community Center is exploring the idea of building a new indoor recreation and community center at Baron Cameron Park.
In spring of 2012, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors transferred 68 acres at that location to the Fairfax County Park Authority, Bill Bouie, RCC Board of Governors member and chairman of RCC's program committee. The Park Authority will work in partnership with RCC to move the project forward, said Bouie, who is also chairman of the Fairfax County Park Authority Board.
"RCC would operate it, and for the parks department, it would be another amenity," Bouie said at a public meeting on the issue at RCC Hunters Woods on Monday.
The financing for the facility would come from Small Tax District 5, which includes Reston. The timing is right, Bouie said, because Reston is expecting an influx of residents and businesses with the arrival of Metrorail in 2013.
The Small Tax District rate is 47 cents per $1000 of assessed property value of all residential and commercial property. That equals about $235 annually for home assessed at $500,000.
The cost estimate for the rec center won't be known until developers know exactly what will be built there, but Bouie estimates it will be $35 to $50 million, similar to a now-dormant 2008 proposal for Browns Chapel Park developed by RCC and Reston Association.
RCC has hired Brailsford & Dunlavey, the same facility planning and program management firm used in 2008.
Consultants from Brailsford & Dunlavey were at RCC last night for a brainstorming session with citizens and organizations.
Top among the requests - a 50-meter pool. Representatives from Reston Swim Team Association, Reston Masters Swim Team, and South Lakes High School, among others, urged RCC to build a regulation pool so SLHS swim team would be able to host home meets and RSTA swimmers would be able to participate in year-round training.
RCC has a smaller indoor pool at its Hunters Woods location, but demand for use is high and space and time are tight.
"It is difficult to get pool time for 140 members," said a representative for Reston Masters Swim Team. "This pool served the public well 20 years ago, but basically we have reached the busting point."
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Eighth-grader Paige Sogandares, who swims year-round with both RSTA and Nation's Capital Swim Club, told the crowd how she wakes up at 3:45 a.m. weekdays to get to morning swim practice at Tysons Corner.
"We don't like to get up that early," she said. "We would like a facility here. The community would make a lot of money at shops and restaurants if we can hold swim meets here."
Reston commercial real estate broker Joe Ritchey, who has been instrumental in many community organizations, floated the idea of building a "world class" aquatic facility that could host major meets and Olympic trials.
"If we consider the future, we could really get something special," he said. "I hope we think bigger - way bigger. The potential is huge."
Other wish list items from the crowd: adaptive facilities; a therapeutic pool; a dedicated diving pool; an indoor track; a shuttle to bring people from Reston Metro stops at Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway; adequate parking; workout facilities; a climbing wall; community rooms; and a cafe.
RCC hopes to make a decision in June on how to proceed. There will be further opportunities for community input on this subject:
Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m. - possible focus group to gather detailed input from community and partners.
March 4, 8 p.m. - Regular RCC Board meeting. Opportunity for further public comments.
March 11, 6:30 p.m. - Interim report from Brailsford & Dunlavey; responses to input from February meeting.
March 18, 6:30 p.m. - RCC Finance Committee review of staff report; opportunity for public comment.
April 1, 8 p.m. - Regular RCC Board Meeting; Opportunity for public comment. (also on May 6 and June 3)
April 8, 6:30 p.m. - RCC Finance Committee Meeting; Recommendations on budget outline/instructions to staff; opportunity for public comment.
Late April/May - Park Authority Master Planning community input process begins (tentative).
May 13, 6:30 p.m. - Finance Committe Review of Staff's FY15 Budget Outline.
June 17 - Annual Public Hearing for Programs and Budget.
Would you like to see a new indoor pool and rec center built at Baron Cameron? Tell us in the comments.