Members of the Reston Community Center Board of Governors took a field trip over the summer to look at other potential spots to build a new recreation center.
Among the stops: RCC Hunters Woods (expand on the existing site); Baron Cameron Park; Lake Fairfax Park – southwest corner; Stevenage Road “North Reston” Park (behind Home Depot); North Reston Town Center/Reston Regional Library; Reston National Golf Course; Reston Heights/JBG development; US Geological Survey; Tall Oaks Village Center; and Isaac Newton Square.
The Board has been discussing the feasibility of building a new center featuring a 50-meter indoor pool at Baron Cameron Park since early 2013. Baron Cameron is owned by the Fairfax County Park Authority and would offer the land for free.
The planned $30 million at Baron Cameron was met with mixed reviews at a series of public meetings this year. While many swimmers are in favor of the idea, North Reston residents are wary of traffic and some Small Tax District 5 residents think the financial burden will be too great.
Meanwhile, the proposed pool was a hot topic at the RCC Board of Governors' Forum on Sept. 18. Three candidates - incumbents Beverly Cosham and Bill Keefe and newcomer Michelle Moyer - would like to see the matter put to referendum. Three others - Tammi Petrine, John Mendonça and Sridhar Ganesan - are not in favor of building the pool at this time, mostly to do with fiscal responsibility for Small Tax District 5 residents.
The six candidates are running for three open three-year terms. Voting ends Friday at 5 p.m.
Gordon says the RCC building committee has come up with advantages and disadvantages for all sites on the tour. Later this month, the committee will present its findings to the public, she said.
She added that RCC has sent a letter to the Fairfax County officially asking that a recreation center be considered for the reconfigured five-acre area in between Reston Town Center and Reston Hospital when the county works up a comprehensive plan for that area.
Some of the land is owned by Inova Health Systems. Another part (the site of the current Reston Regional Library) is owned by Fairfax County.
The committee discussed criteria priorities and came up with this list, in order of priority:
1) Site Identity, Acreage, Availability
3) Cost (including new building/demolition and other site-related costs)
4) Zoning/Current Use
5) Environmental and Design Considerations
6) Engineering and Traffic Considerations
7) Accessibility to Patrons/Neighborhood Impact
A top issue that might bounce sites from consideration: private ownership, says Gordon. RCC will also need to work in partnership no matter where the rec center may be built.
"We never went into this expecting to do this ourselves," she said.The board will further discuss the issue at its regular meeting on Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. The building committee meets again on Oct. 28 (7 p.m.), and Gordon says the report on the alternative sites should be available at that meeting. Public comment is welcome at all meetings.
Where do you think is the best location - if any - for a new RCC facility? Tell us in the comments.