Report Shows Demand - But Not Cost - For Pool

Reston Community Center consultants narrow down possibilities for new indoor pool at Baron Cameron Park, but don't offer financial information yet.

A preliminary report from consultants Brailsford & Dunlavey shows that there is more demand for aquatics programs than Reston Community Center can meet with its current indoor pool.

RCC is looking into the feasibility of building a new indoor pool at Baron Cameron Park. Consultants from Brailsford & Dunlavey are updating a 2009 report they did for RCC and Reston Association about a similar facility at Brown's Chapel Park - which died before it went to a public referendum.

The final report will be completed in early June, said B & D's Craig Levin.

At a meeting at RCC Hunters Woods on Monday, he showed some preliminary stats. Among them:

* 3,600 have been enrolled in swim classed in the last year and 7,120 have registered for drop-in water aerobics.

* Over 42,000 single visits.

* More than 2,000 patrons were on wait lists for swim classes.

* There was a 77-percent increase in pool passes in 2011-12.

* 2,200 participate in fitness classes.

* That there are 16 nearby indoor pools, including five 50-meter pools in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

Levin said the group was analyzing two main footprints for the potential facility.

One option features a 25-yard pool, a 5,000-square-foot leisure pool, a gym, two multipurpose rooms for 62,850 square feet of space on 0.72 acres.

The other option is a 50-meter pool, a 7,500-square-foot leisure pool, a larger weight room and other features for 98,000 square feet of space on 1.12 acres.

Both layouts would need an estimated 200-250 parking spaces on 1-1.2 acres, Levin said.

What B & D did not have was a financial analysis, including operating expenses, revenue opportunities, usage fees for non residents of Small Tax District 5.

Levin said the financial numbers should be available at the next public meeting on June 3.

Several residents said they were disappointed B & D did not have numbers. Many others said they were not convinced of the need for a new pool, that the Baron Cameron location was the right spot for it, and that Reston residents should not be asked to foot the bill for a county facility.

RCC has proposed building at the 68-acre Baron Cameron Park because it is already owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority, which would co-operate a new facility.

"The location in general needs to be looked at," said speaker Jim George. "The conclusion at one of the recent meetings was that 80-90 percent of people are against it. It is not the right location. For financial reasons, it maybe is the right location. Green space, cost and traffic - none of that has been addressed."

One Logwood Grove resident said "I feel like this is the cart before the horse."

"After seeing the presentation. I really am not seeing the demand," said Annemarie Swope. "I found another place to go [for swim lessons] because we have them."

Reston Citizens Association president Colin Mills and Reston 2020 board member Tammi Petrine both offered comments. RCA is working on a white paper on the topic that Mills said should be released soon.

"I understand the Baron Cameron location," said Mills. "But I don't want them to get locked in to location if there are others that can be considered."

Petrine said the proposal is "a break in reality and a break in fairness."

She cited nearby FCPA rec centers at Oak Marr (Oakton) and Spring Hill (McLean), both of which are undergoing multi-million dollar expansions.

"I am really astonished when I started looking into the proposal to find out that both Spring Hill and Oak Marr adding on huge additions to their pools, racquetball courts and other facilities," she said. "Of 14 districts, Hunter Mill is the only one that does not have its own FCPA rec center. We have a problem here. Our taxes are paying for Spring Hill and Oakton to add on. These are not impoverished communities.

"We have 40 percent of county’s subsidized housing here," she said. "If you are supporting this population, rest of community needs to support you in that effort." 

Several other locations for a facility were suggested by residents. Among them: North County Government Center and an innovative design that could be built in the parking lot of Reston National Golf Course.

At times the testimony was emotionnal.

"We live there. We can't get to the park," said Longwood Grove resident Jill Gallagher, who told the board that the idea is poorly planned. "Traffic is so bad.When you pull out of Longwood Grove and take a left, you are taking your life in your hands."

Some residents accused pool opponents of being dramatic.

"There is no threat to the dog park and fields," said one speaker. "But there is threat from the neighbors about too much noise from dogs barking. They would prefer completely open space. I don’t know why our neighbors at Lake Newport are so concerned. This open space should be used."

Said resident Sheila Casey: "I think there is a lot of dishonesty about the opposition about this park. It is a small group of homeowners. That park is busy at one time only, and that is Saturday mornings."

"I never have had any trouble getting to Baron Cameron Park," she added. "And most importantly, the pool we have here is antiquated. It is much too warm for competitive swimming. I very much support a new rec center."

There will be more discussion and public feedback on the topic Tuesday at the Fairfax County Park Authority's Baron Cameron Park Master Plan Meeting. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Buzz Aldrin Elementary.


RCC Considering New Facility

RCC Sizing Up Pool Competition

What Will Happen to Baron Cameron Dog Park?

Indoor Tennis Not Likely at New RCC Facility


Save the Date: Park Master Planning Meeting

Citizens Speak Out on RCC Proposal


Are you in favor of a new pool facility at Baron Cameron Park? Tell us in the comments.

James J.Myers,Jr. May 07, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Karen Goff, Shot the messenger first. It's not very pleasant is it? I should point out this proposal to build another facility at Baran Cameron is almost identical to the proposal RA proposed 2-3 years ago except for the indoor tennis facility. I attended one of the meetings & brought up many of the same points that are currently being discussed. Where you there? The one interesting point to this discussion is the LACK OF POLITICAL LEADERSHIP by Bulova, Hudgins, MsKay, Goss,etc. Why don't they show up & listen to what people have to say? Any comments? Good reporting Karen. Jim Myers
David Barry May 07, 2013 at 09:48 PM
Well, we have 15 or so pools and 48 tennis courts, 26 lighted for night play. We have a big YMCA with a large gym facility - I don't remember if they have a pool. We have loads of sports fields, and five lakes for boating and fishing. We have over 60 miles of pathways and trails. We have one public and one private golf course (for now, anyway). We have some private rec facilities as well including one opening in Sept with two more indoor pools and one outdoor. So I would say we have not "a" recreational facility, but many many such facilities.
Laura Ramon May 08, 2013 at 12:21 AM
I don't think Patch was much of a "thing" when the Browns Chapel brew-ha-ha was going on. I think the reporting on this has been fine- Personally I'm surprised that what didn't get said wasn't more along the lines of "Big shock- the North Reston neighbors aka Don't put anything in my green open vistas contingent showed up to dominate the comments." How painfully dull and predicable. You should be glad that you got any quotes since over the years you've sounded like a damn broken record. There was a day when you bitched up a storm over the dog park; making claims of danger and noise-- remember that? Your arguments are sad and pathetic- you should just be honest. You don't want to lose even a tiny fraction, no change allowed, no matter what's good for the community. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Reston 4 life May 08, 2013 at 01:28 AM
I am Reston 4 Life, and I endorse this message! Sorry, had to.
Reston 4 life May 08, 2013 at 01:34 AM
And tonight, wow, Robert Simon, the Founder and architect of Reston said......what? Oh, I am sorry, He said something about Reston. And about this Concept. What was it? Oh, now I remember He said yes. It was a good idea. He was in favor of it. Or something like that. No, wait.....he did say that.
Reston 4 life May 08, 2013 at 01:42 AM
Oh yea, I guess he is now also labeled as a "PIT" as in "Put It There" type person. Couldn't wish for a better person to stand with against the NIMBY's. HA!
Restonresident May 08, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Robert Simon is not god. In this situation he is merely an activist for tennis. Just like the swimmers why should I pay for a small group of swimmers and possibly tennis players. No disrespect meant for Mr. Simon his vision gave us what we have an I am thankful
Skip Endale May 08, 2013 at 03:29 AM
we expected a head first dumpster dive to get the numbers and you did not perform. so there...
Java Master May 08, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Where is the source for the statistic that Reston has "forty percent of the county's subsidized housing " that evetyone likes to throw around? And why is it directly relevant to the discussion of the merits of a propsed recreation center?
Karen Goff May 08, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Patch wasn't a thing at all in 2009 as it did not exist until August 2010. But as a resident I followed the issue.
Reston 4 life May 08, 2013 at 02:26 PM
"Merely an activist for tennis" restonresident? Really? You think that? That's all he is? Really? I am speechless on how to convey my disgust for your view. He is not GOD. ok, yea, but still, your conveyance on this is so idiotic that I am speechless. <literally scratching my head on how you advocate a planned community that gave you something years ago, then dismiss the visionary that did it> He said, a 50 meter pool was needed, and tennis courts. Based on projected growth. All in accordance with his vision, and you ........what? Want to stop him envisioning now because it conflicts with your vision? His vision began Reston, he advocates for a new BC park concept. His little pinky finger has more invested in this community than your entire body. And before I get the slings and arrows, I am not related to Bob Simon! Or Bill Bouie. Sheesh !
Maggie May 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM
Idiotic? To not bow in deference to everything Bob Simon says is now idiotic? And if you re-read Restonresident's post, that's not all he thinks he is. Go on. Read it again. There are more words at the end.
J Gallagher May 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Okay let's get real about the vision. The vision was to place a school there for Reston families. That did not happen. The vision was to build a tennis facility at Brown's Chapel and that did not happen. The vision was to support the development of a recreation center through the proffers of development and that did not happen. The master plan did not say "to develop a recreation center at Baron Cameron Park," so let's get real on this visionary stuff. Further, planning does not happen in a vacuum. Planners can plan a sidewalk and people will still walk across the lawn. The smart planners look at the patterns and needs of people and move the sidewalk to fit user needs. The people who use the park stood up and spoke last night, and said that they like the current use, but it needs an upgrade to maximize use. We heard that repeatedly last night. And what Bob Simon said that was that he was really pushing for a tennis facility, and he said that he may have a backer ($$). So he recognized the needs of users (who have been requesting that tennis facility for a long time, and he recognized the constraints of funding) without forcing a location down everyone's throat. Bob Simon is a smart planner. He listens to the needs of users. He adjusts his vision to reflect reality. Even he was not stuck on his vision - if he was, then wouldn't we still be seeking funding for a school?
Kate Peterson May 08, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I think your view is short sighted- like Floridians not wanting to pay for schools because they're already educated their kids. I don't play tennis but I can see that the presence of a facility is good for the community as a whole- I don't utilize the wood carving classes at the RCC either but I don't mind paying for them because its good for the community.
J Gallagher May 08, 2013 at 04:09 PM
Kate - it's hard to consider building a $35-50M recreation facility when Herndon High School kids are sitting in trailers. If a bond is issued, it should be for that school. Half of Reston attends HHS. I agree with you about the Floridians - they should prioritize and fund schools.
Restonresident May 08, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Reston 4 life you obviously did not take the time to read my comment. I said in this instance Mr. Simon was being an activist for tennis. I did not question his vision in fact I praised. Please read before going off on a tirade.
J Gallagher May 09, 2013 at 03:17 AM
I have no idea what this post means, Reston4Life. It's so easy to make snippits like this when you are hiding behind a tag name. We are adults. Most of us are using our real names. Why aren't you?
J Gallagher May 09, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Kim - totally agree. Traffic seems to be a concern when folks talk about moving the rec center near the Town Center but not when it is over here on this side...makes me wonder where these folks live? This quote above: "access traffic to that area is already heavy, and the silver line will only add to that problem...additional traffic for a rec center would aggravate the issue for any Restonian wanting to get to the facility..." can be applied to the BCP site in the same way, "..access traffic to that area (Baron Cameron and Wiehle) is already heavy (25,000-27,000 cars per day), and the Silver Line will only add to that problem, and additional traffic for a rec center would aggravate the issue for any Restonian wanting to get HOME!!!" Unbelievable that Reston4Life sees traffic as an issue at the Town Center, and worries about the shoppers ability to get in and out, and ignores the concerns of residents around BCP regarding traffic...unbelievable. And your argument that BCP has an "established road system" - is ridiculous..the Town Center/Reston Parkway/Toll Road infrastructure blows Baron Cameron away - Baron Cameron doesn't even have margins. The park and ride lot on Sunset and Town Center easily had two exits....your whole argument against the Town Center site is weak. The site is good, they just don't want to use it for a rec center.
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Are you not aware that the facility location being bandied about by people like you, is a heavily residential area, whereas Town Center is NOT ...
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Melissa, That's another location that makes sense.
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:50 PM
There are many acres of wooded buffer at Baron Cameron Park, perhaps 20 or more, that cannot be touched. While the facility will probably take 3-5 or more acres, there will also be approximately 5 acres needed for parking. There is already insufficient parking at Baron Cameron for the soccer fields, the ball field and the dog park. Sounds as though something will have to go .... We already have a shortage of soccer fields.
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:52 PM
And why do they say that the majority are for this rec center? That is a flat out lie. The majority of people at the meeting were against this center.
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM
And that is not true.
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Craig, though some of the Longwood Grove people dislike the noise from the dog park, they are against this recreation center being built at Baron Cameron Park. So, they are not supporters of this facility
gj May 18, 2013 at 09:59 PM
And what about our tent cities all over? What about our homeless? There is a great deal of subsidized housing in Reston as well, I do not believe 16% covers it.
gj May 19, 2013 at 08:06 PM
And newcomers to Reston should take into consideration those of us who have been here over 20 years, who respected Bob Simon's plan and dream and who have repeatedly lost green space for new development. To build a monstrosity in this location for a few is not needed. Use the new Lifetime Facility off Sunset Hills. That will be completed Fall 2013. Too far to drive???
gj May 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM
I am in total agreement with D George. Only the 'for' comments seem to be made public. Why are we being herded into this when the majority of people are against a new Rec Center at this time AND certainly against anything like that being put into Baron Cameron Park.
gj May 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM
This is NOT good for the community!
Reston 4 life May 22, 2013 at 01:47 PM
To the editor, Karen, What is the criteria for ending a string of comments? Seems this one has expired as an article on the web page but continues. My reason. To ask is to keep comments current with events, and yet some contributors maintain responses on old articles. Your current page reflects new developments, but arguments and commentary continue on old expired pages. Thanks
Karen Goff May 22, 2013 at 01:53 PM
Good question. I will usually only shut down comments if they turn extra mean or violate terms of service. Stories never expire, they just move to the background. So people can keep talking as long as they stay on topic.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something