The cross atop the former Faith Baptist Church in Vienna will come down, but otherwise, the town has opted for a “wait and see” approach to the 3-acre property it purchased in 2020.
The Vienna Town Council unanimously voted on Aug. 29 to indefinitely postpone repairs to the roof of the aging building at 301 Center Street South.
While staff argued that improvements are needed to stop recurring water leaks, council members balked at the idea of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a building that they could ultimately decide to demolish.
“I would like to do the absolute minimum, even if that does cause some further damage to the building, rather than commit a lot of money,” Councilmember Chuck Anderson said. “If you spend a half million dollars on a roof, psychologically, you’re committed to that building, and I personally have not reached the conclusion that the best use for that property involves some sort of rehabilitation and repurposing of the existing structure.”
Built in 1956, per Fairfax County property records, the former church — now informally dubbed the Annex — will require substantial renovations to meet current building code standards and get approved for occupancy, a study by Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP found.
Though town staff are making spot repairs as leaks and other problems emerge, Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman requested the council’s support last week to replace the roof, either as a whole or in parts.
“Addressing the flat roof is the most pressing, current issue to ensure that the Annex does not incur further damage and deterioration due to the leaks,” Herman said. “There are issues on the shingled, sloped roof that will need attention in the very near future.”
Replacing the flat roof alone could cost $122,000 to $228,400, staff estimated. New rooftop HVAC units and removing the sanctuary windows would add $90,000 to the bill.
The cost of a complete roof overhaul ranges from $293,200 to $443,400, including up to $15,000 to take down the church steeple.
Whitman Requardt estimated that it would take up to $1 million to bring the building up to code and make it suitable for community uses. Herman noted that construction and supply costs have climbed since that study was first presented to the council in March.
When asked if the roof could hold up for another year without repairs, Vienna Facility Manager Leon Evans said he believes it could, but there’s no guarantee.
“I just got finished with the HVAC system that just failed in the sanctuary today,” he told the council. “All I was asked was to get numbers for you so you guys could figure out what direction you want to go.”
After some debate and confusion over the difference between the flat and sloped parts of the roof, the council decided to remove the church’s cross but hold repairs until after the completion of a feasibility report commissioned on June 13.
Expected to begin this fall and finish in spring 2023, the report will recommend long-term options for the Annex, which is housing the police department until its now-open station is ready for officers to move in later this month.
For now, parks and rec staff may need to keep buckets and tarp handy to deal with those pesky roof leaks. Mayor Linda Colbert acknowledged that the repairs deferral wasn’t what staff had hoped for.
“There’s just a lot of questions still,” Colbert said. “I would hate to vote on something now and not have it be the right thing. You’re right we’re taking a risk.”
Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier…
Reston Association is seeking candidates for its 2024 Board of Directors’ election. Four seats are open for the election, which will take place in March. Specifically, two at-large director seats…
Zombies, pirates and other virtual characters are about to be unleashed on Tysons, just in time for Christmas. Sandbox VR will launch its new virtual reality gaming experience at 1656…
Do the holidays have you stressed and busy? Worry not about what to wear as Live Fairfax has the Style Survival Guide for this season!
The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
Proceeds benefit Fellowship Square, improving the lives of 800+ older adults with very limited income and resources by providing affordable housing and supportive services.
Experience a festive holiday fundraiser complete with savory wines & craft beers, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, exciting