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Letter: Outlining RCC's Process

Gordon: "We look forward to continuing the discussion of all the possibilities for RCC in the months ahead."

The Reston Community Center Board of Governors and staff thank the people of Reston who participated in our February 11 meeting to discuss Reston Community Center’s future and we look forward to continuing the discussion of all the possibilities for RCC in the months ahead.

It is important to note, as a foundation to the community’s conversation, that how Baron Cameron Park serves Reston and Fairfax County is ultimately the jurisdiction of Fairfax County Park Authority and subject to its master planning process. The Park Authority and RCC are exploring the potential for a partnership in realizing amenities at Baron Cameron Park; this will necessitate engagement by RCC with its constituents as well as the Park Authority engaging in its standard master planning processes.

At the outset of this engagement process, the RCC Board of Governors is agreed upon key pillars of planning for the future in general and specifically with respect to the potential of a partnership with Fairfax County Park Authority as we explore that particular possibility. The information below is provided so we are all on the same page as the conversation unfolds in the months ahead.

The Board of Governors of Reston Community Center will not act on a major capital project to realize an indoor recreation facility for Reston before determining these important sets of information indicate the wisdom of acting; specifically that:

1. The community supports such an endeavor and has had the opportunity to participate in discussions of what an indoor recreation facility should provide and how it should operate.

2. The market, demographic and financial contexts of Reston today and in the future are well understood and considered.

In addition, the Board of Governors has determined there are key pillars to any possible collaboration with the Park Authority that are fundamental to a partnership being successfully realized. These pillars with respect to the goals for RCC are:

1. RCC is interested in a facility that addresses demand in our community for more indoor Aquatics and Fitness activity options.

2. RCC respects the roles and missions of the Park Authority and other key Reston recreation providers and is not interested in proceeding in anything other than a collaborative and cooperative spirit with our partners in these areas such as Reston Association, Reston YMCA, Southgate Community Center, Reston schools, and Reston Town Center Association among others.

3. RCC provides its facilities, programs and services to Reston patrons first and foremost in consideration of their taxes. These tax revenues are derived from both Reston residential and commercial property owners; thus both residents and employees of Reston-located businesses are considered “Reston” by RCC. Reston patrons receive preferential pricing, scheduling opportunities and enrollment periods with respect to RCC offerings and facilities.

4. As a function of its mission, RCC is concerned with providing services in Aquatics and Fitness facilities and programs that address fitness and recreation for users of all ages and all abilities with leisure, competition, therapeutic, drop-in and registered types of use.

In its preliminary discussion of any potential partnership with Fairfax County Park Authority, the RCC Board of Governors recognizes these pillars of its planning with regard to the partnership from RCC’s perspecitve; specifically that:

1. The interest of Reston taxpayers is paramount and will be represented in the planning and programming of any new facility.

2. RCC should have autonomy in programming an indoor facility to best meet the needs of Reston patrons.

3. There should be flexibility in the timing of important benchmarks and the timing regarding funding to assure success.

4. An MOU will clarify roles and responsibilities for the entire project, as well as costs and management of common areas and transportation related issues.

5. The partnership should be as long-term as possible.

6. RCC has an expressed interest in creating something unique with features that distinguish this facility from other more “pro-forma” types.

7. RCC desires a true partnership and thus honors boundaries of existing and planned programming at Lake Fairfax Park (particularly the Water Mine Park).

8. RCC will work collaboratively to support joint communication both during the process of planning and subsequently if the partnership is realized.

9. RCC recognizes the substantial dollar value of the land that might be contributed to the partnership by the Park Authority and will consider contributing to other site improvements as on offset to loss of fields building an indoor facility might create.

Finally, fundamental to the outcome of this exploration, is RCC’s knowledge that building a facility will require a referendum of voters in Small District 5, thus the final consent and determination to build any new RCC facility is up to the will of those voters.  

To assure that undertaking a referendum is not done without a large degree of confidence, RCC will be extremely sensitive to community input at RCC meetings and to the Park Authority community input as their master planning unfolds.

We encourage people to let us know if they are interested in staying involved in the conversation by sending us their contact information to RCCContact@fairfaxcounty.gov. We ask people to include their name, address and email address when doing so.  

As always, the Board and staff of RCC are excited to explore the future with the active involvement of our patrons and partners.

Leila Gordon

Reston Community Center Executive Director

 

Leila Gordon February 13, 2013 at 04:52 PM
Some clarifications are in order: 1) There is no employment/residency requirement for Fairfax County agency heads and employees; I can't speak to the requirements for the County Executive or the Chiefs of Police and Fire. I live where I live because it's where my husband lives; it is not because I don't love Reston or want to avoid paying taxes. DC residents pay substantially higher taxes than Virginians, even those living in Reston, pay. 2) Employees who want the Reston rate must qualify as John Farrell describes. Nannies are only provided Reston status if they are accompanying a minor child who is Reston qualified in an offering. We do not extend the "Reston" privilege to independent contractors without a fixed business address in Small District 5. 3) RCC and the Park Authority both exist to serve the people of Reston; the Park Authority serves the entire County as well. The amenities provided by the Park Authority and by RCC are public amenities--making those amenities better doesn't represent a conflict of interest. We look forward to hearing from everyone and will take all viewpoints into consideration; please send us contact information as described above so we can keep everyone equally informed.
Laura Ramon February 13, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Mr. Farrell- if you'll check the Fairfax County employment requirements for Department & Agency heads you'll find there is NO RESIDENCY requirement.
Laura Ramon February 13, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Lilguy- what exactly is being inferred by this? Do you think people are getting kick-backs? I honestly do not get it. How is Mr. Bouie supposed to benefit? It seems the only outcome should all this come to pass would be additional facilities in Reston, primarily for Reston's residents use. Where is the scam in this proposal?
David Barry February 13, 2013 at 08:50 PM
"We know that Reston will require another HS/JHS campus and space for that must be taken into account." It's only been a few years since the second HS/JHS campus was declared NOT needed and given to the FCPA. That was the property known as Baron Cameron Park. The school system had that land for decades and was letting the parks use it until it was needed for a school. Then they said it would never be used. So now, just a few years later, if we really need those schools, it seems the Park Authority should give the land back to the school system to use as originally planned. So maybe nobody should be building an indoor rec center on that land.
kevin February 25, 2013 at 09:56 PM
It is not clear to me why this would be interpreted as "RCC/Gordon bashing". I had the same reaction when I saw the same consultants being used again. They did not create a lot of confidence or trust the last time around. It does not seem to serve anyone, either pro, con or in between, to use them. Surely there are other experts in this field.

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