Contractor Branch and Associates will proceed beginning January 2
Reston Community Center has launched the renovation of its Terry L. Smith Aquatics Center. RCC closed the pool on January 1. When the project is complete, the 40-year-old aquatics center will reopen as two pools in the fall of 2019.
Branch and Associates was selected as the contracting firm for the project after Fairfax County’s Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) opened a pre-bid qualification process in October. Six contractors were prequalified. Virginia-based Branch and Associates, founded in 1963, has won awards for its design-build and renovation of schools, libraries (including the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library) and other public facilities.
The project team includes Branch project manager Bill Ruschaupt, DPWES’ Martha Sansaver, Karen Davis and Geoff Kimmel, and RCC’s Leila Gordon and Deputy Director John Blevins.
The contractor was given the notice to proceed from the county on December 31. RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon notes that they will follow strict environmental standards in draining the pool, a process which will begin on January 1 as soon as the final open swim time ends.
That includes neutralizing the pool water for several days to allow chlorine to dissipate before draining, adjusting the pH if necessary, and draining the water at a slow rate so it does not erode stream banks downstream of the pool. See Fairfax County’s DPWES’ website for more information on pool drainage standards.
“The pool draining process is conducted in phases and requires the neutralization of the water chemistry (chlorine removal) prior to water being drained,” said Gordon. “Draining the water is a controlled process to avoid overwhelming any part of the surrounding environment. RCC has been conducting this process over the entire lifetime of our existing pool to accommodate the annual maintenance period. In 2018, we didn’t conduct that annual closure given how close we were to the kickoff of the renovation project.”
RCC embarked on the renovation project after a two-year community engagement and design process. The renovated facility, designed by RRMM/Lukmire Architects, will include a 25-yard lap pool with zero-depth entry and a warm-water therapeutic pool. The facility will also get updated infrastructure systems and a new roof.
Additionally, RCC has selected mosaic artist Valerie Theberge for mosaic artwork to be installed on the large wall areas adjacent to the pool overlook area. Theberge has two works of note in Reston: the Glade Drive underpass and a mosaic water feature at Dogwood Pool. Both projects were accomplished with support from Public Art Reston, Reston Association and Reston Community Center and additional funding from ARTSFAIRFAX.
“Valerie’s work is renowned for its beauty and her Reston artworks have been accomplished with wonderful community participation. We are excited to be working with her again on a new piece to add to Reston’s wonderful public art collection,” said Gordon.
RCC has partnered with the Fairfax County YMCA Reston, Herndon Community Center and Reston Association to offer aquatics discounts for RCC patrons during the renovation period. For more information, please visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com/construction.
For updates throughout the construction period, please visit www.restoncommunitycenter.com.
Renderings of the new pool design courtesy RRMM/Lukmire Architects.