Interim renovations planned for Reston Regional Library ahead of full overhaul

Reston Regional Library (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Reston Regional Library is slated for a complete renovation as part of the overall redevelopment of Reston Town Center North.

But after the potential RTC North developer unexpectedly withdrew from the project last year, Fairfax County is now looking at making some interim upgrades to the library at 11925 Bowman Towne Drive. The improvements are expected to extend the building’s lifespan for the next seven to ten years.

“While the planned future Reston Regional Library is still in the land acquisition and design phase, this brief and necessary refresh will enhance library visitors’ experiences and complete important facility modernizations to ensure that it remains useable, clean, and safe for the duration of the building’s lifespan,” Fairfax County Public Library Deputy Director Kevin Osborne told FFXnow.

According to a permit application, the library’s bathrooms will be demolished, removing the existing floor, tile, toilets, toilet partitions and lighting. The renovated bathrooms will be up to county standards, including automatic flush toilets, LED lights, hand dryers and drinking fountains.

The redesign is also intended to minimize “unwanted behavior” by removing doors and improving lighting.

FCPL also plans to replace the library’s front and rear entry carpet. LED lighting is planned throughout the building to reduce the library’s energy costs and increase its light levels.

There’s no established timeline yet for when construction might begin, and Osborne noted that the scope of the interim renovations might change.

RTC North’s redevelopment lost steam when developer Folger-Pratt pulled out from the project in February 2023. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors then created a task force to come up with a new plan and asked the county executive to expedite a land exchange with Inova Health System to move the project forward.

Inova owns parcels in RTC North that are currently developed with an emergency room, the North County Human Services Center and Sunrise Senior Living.

The redevelopment project will replace the library and the Embry Rucker Shelter, which will be supplemented by affordable housing. The RTC North task force released a plan in November that also recommended sites for a future school, athletic field and recreation center.

During a media call last week, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn reported that county staff and Inova “are working to start pulling together the documentation” needed to submit a zoning application for the redevelopment.

Designs for the new homeless shelter and library will be shared with the task force for feedback, he pledged.

“That’ll be the next step, but there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes,” Alcorn said. “Frankly, I’m pushing the county because our new shelter and that permanent supportive housing couldn’t come too soon, and the library, that’s important as well.”