Our BFFs at Reston Now inform us that the long-debated indoor rec center project, which has drawn considerable opposition and the second-best video ever made about Reston since proposals to build the giant pleasure-dome/juicery at Brown's Chapel and then at nearby Baron Cameron Park first surfaced way back in ought-nine, is now making like a cupcake merchant and moving to Reston Town Center.
The Fairfax County Park Authority has outlined a land swap that will enable it to eventually move forward on an indoor recreation center for the area known as Town Center North.The location makes sense -- it's currently largely unused space, not open space, near a whole lot of future dense bollardy construction whose condo- and apartment-dwelling denizens could benefit from recreation facilities. The land has also been earmarked for some sort of public use since the early days of rethinking Reston's awesome master plan, and considering it's one of the few parts of the plan that doesn't specify "incredibly dense mid-rise construction," we don't want to discourage this for that reason. (At one point, rumor had it an amphitheater was being considered for this spot. It makes us sad that we're apparently losing the opportunity to see Reston: The Opera under the stars, as its makers intended, but we'll get over it.) And there are still apparently plans to construct some kind of "town green" on part of the property.
Park Authority Chair Bill Bouie said Friday the park authority has committed to a deal, pending a public hearing and park authority board vote, that plans for a 90,000-square-foot recreation facility to be built on the same block as the new North County Government Center on Fountain Drive.
The 47-acre area is bounded by Baron Cameron Avenue, Fountain Drive, and Town Center Parkway and Bowman Towne Drive.
The recreation center would be owned and operated by the park authority, however, officials still do not know who would pay to construct the building.
But the question remains: who is going to pay for it? Other county park facilities have been funded county-wide, but RCC's current facilities are funded through our own special little tax district -- which might not be so little if it winds up footing the bill for some or all of this project. For its part, RCC says that's not going to be the case:
RCC Executive Director Lelia Gordon called the plan a “win-win-win,” with no additional burden on STD 5 residents “other than the one that already exists.”The first of what will undoubtedly be many public hearings on this project is in April. Who knows? Maybe all the opposition to the past proposals will wind up giving Reston something it needs without us having to pay a disproportionate share of its cost. Sounds crazy, we know, but crazier things have happened.
“We see this as terrific,” she said, adding that the work already done by RCC — and Reston Association in a previous plan for facilities at Brown’s Chapel Park — should shorten the process.
“[The new plan] can advance so much more rapidly because of RA and RCC,” said Gordon. “The last county facility of this type was built more than 20 years ago. I would say this accelerates the process by many years.”