Degraded streams are a challenge throughout Fairfax County. Property renovations and additions provide opportunities to rehabilitate streams damaged by decades of over-development and the school system is committed to playing a responsible role in that effort.
School system and county government staff are working together to that end, across the county and here in Reston. I want to thank Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova for their active involvement.
The costs of stream restoration are significant. Retaining storm water on the Sunrise Valley ES property, for example, would cost 10 times what traditional, and currently acceptable, storm water on the Sunrise Valley property, for example, would cost ten times what traditional, and currently acceptable, storm water management improvements would cost - $500,000 as opposed to $40,000.
The school system has to be very careful how it spends school construction bond funds, to comply with the law and to have any hope of addressing our backlog of desperately needed renovations and additions.
It is because of those constraints that we are working with our partners in county government to find a solution.
As for extra parking and kiss-n-ride spaces, there is a balance to be struck and not everyone will agree on how best to do that. Where we see kiss-n-ride lines and school parking clogging neighborhood streets, creating unsafe conditions, it makes sense to build in more capacity on site.
I am working with Safe Routes to Schools proponents and county and FCPS staff to improve pedestrian and bike access to schools and to help parent communities transition from car dependence to healthier alternatives. For example, the Sunrise Valley renovation was improved to add a pedestrian/bike trail connecting a county trail with the sidewalk in front of the school.
Transitioning families out of their cars is a process, as much about infrastructure as about habits. Incentives have to be moving in the right direction, but it can not be forced.
I am grateful for this conversation. Schools are public spaces. Community input is essential to good outcomes. I also believe that respectful dialogue is essential. I take everyone at their word. We all want what's best for children and the environment. I don't know anyone who sees the values of public education and environmental stewardship at odds.
Hunter Mill Representative to the School Board
Hynes is writing in response to about planned renovations at Sunrise Valley and Terraset Elementary Schools