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Fairfax County adopts new names for Lee District and recently opened community center

Hybla Valley Community Center (via Fairfax County/YouTube)

Lee District has officially been consigned to the history books.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed yesterday (Tuesday) to adopt Franconia District as the new moniker for the magisterial district that represents portions of Springfield, Franconia, Kingstowne, and Hybla Valley.

Franconia District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said many residents associate the name of the district with positive memories there, such as the sound of footsteps on the boardwalk through Huntley Meadows, visions of the old gravel pits, or pride in the history of the Laurel Grove School.

“However for many, the name Lee District evokes another set of imagery, whether by design or by accident, and we may never know by which, the name stands as a lasting monument to the most recognizable Confederate figure in history,” he said.

Based on feedback from the community, Franconia was the most agreed-upon name.

“The name Franconia has always been central to our identity,” Lusk said. “It’s a name that makes sense, it’s a name that our community has embraced and it’s a name that memorializes a place and not a person.”

Lusk’s office confirmed that the new name “went into effect immediately” after the Board’s vote, but time will be needed to implement the change on signs, websites, social media accounts, and other entities that feature the district’s old name.

The approved board matter directed the county executive to initiate the process to change the name and report back to the board on administrative changes necessary to facilitate the change and a timeline for its adoption.

The board also voted to assign staff to reach out to businesses, nonprofits, community groups and other entities that may be impacted by the change and recommend possible strategies to support them.

“The exact timeline, cost, and scope will be determined through the County Executive’s review,” Lusk’s office said by email.

Just minutes earlier, the board also unanimously voted to call a new community center west of Richmond Highway the “Hybla Valley Community Center.”

Previously home to the Mount Vernon Athletic and Tennis Club, the building was purchased by the county in 2020 to be repurposed into the multiservice center meant to be “the epicenter of basic needs requests in all of South County.”

Lusk presented the motion to name the center at 7950 Audubon Avenue after getting public input at five community engagement sessions, he said.

“This community engagement effort was intentionally designed to reduce barriers to participation, create culturally appropriate engagement settings, and ensure that participation reflected those whose lives will be impacted by the decision,” Lusk said.

The center opened to the public on April 4, with a grand opening ceremony in May. It provides recreation services, youth programs and other resources for the Hybla Valley area in the Richmond Highway corridor.

“This community center is really an amazing place only in the very early stages of realizing its full potential, but one that I think is long overdue to the community,” Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck said.

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