Fairfax County leaders will celebrate the grand opening of a community center in Annandale’s Heritage Mall tomorrow (Saturday).
Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw and the county’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services will open the Annandale Community Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony, an open-house, and community activities, according to a release.
The county is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington to provide affordable after-school activities and youth programming in the 2,100-square-foot space. The center will add more programs and resources after the grand opening.
“The Annandale Community Center name was selected following multiple community engagement forums where the community gave input on the vision for the space, including resources, activities, programs, and names,” the release states.
Previously, the center was tentatively known as the Community Space at Heritage Center.
The facility occupies a former CrossFit space in the shopping center at 7879 Heritage Drive. It has been in the works since the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a townhouse development behind the mall that included a commitment to providing a community resource center.
The grand opening will start at noon.
Join me + @FairfaxNCS this Saturday, March 4, to celebrate the opening of the new Annandale Community Center @ Heritage Shopping Plaza @ 12pm!
NCS is partnering w/@BGCGW to offer affordable youth programming + afterschool activities in the new space.https://t.co/p4O0aTHNGe pic.twitter.com/R8iXLfF3Kw
— Supervisor James Walkinshaw (@JRWalkinshaw) March 2, 2023
A new kid-focused community center is opening tomorrow (Thursday) inside a long-vacant space at a Hybla Valley apartment complex.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. for the Communities of Trust Center, a renovated two-story community gathering place within the Creekside Village Apartment complex at 7932 Janna Lee Avenue.
The project comes from the local nonprofit organization Communities of Trust (COT), which works to build trust between public safety agencies and the community, and HomeAid, an organization that builds housing and facilities for nonprofits.
“Within this two-story building, COT will focus on preventive solutions for at-risk youth by providing a safe haven, teaching job skills for employment, and building ties within the community,” the event flyer says.
The new community center in the Franconia District will be a “safe place” for kids to gather, do schoolwork, and participate in structured programs, Communities of Trust Chair Shirley Ginwright told FFXnow.
“This has been a community where there has been a large amount of negative interaction with law enforcement,” she said. “This facility will provide a place for them to go, after they get out of school and while their parents are working.”
The 1,582-square-foot space had been vacant for a decade and was very much in need of renovations, per a press release.
Walls and the kitchen were removed to create a large, open-space area, while vinyl plank flooring was installed throughout. A kitchenette, two water fountains, new lighting, and windows were added. All three bathrooms were renovated as well.
The renovation ended up costing about $125,000, but all the materials, labor, and project management were donated.
Ginwright said creating a space where kids can learn was important, because the pandemic hit this community particularly hard, while setting many students back in terms of reading, writing, and math skills. There will be workshops and programs aimed at helping kids catch up on those skills.
There will also be a number of specialized programs aimed at different interests, including filmmaking, podcast production, and music recording. STEAM education will be a focus too, Ginwright said.
“We will also be engaging with our law enforcement in implementing many of these programs to help build positive relationships and trust,” she said.
The Communities of Trust Committee was first established in late 2014 in response to the killing of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The committee’s intention was to bring together public safety agencies and community representatives to prevent what happened in Ferguson from happening in Fairfax County.
From there, a nonprofit organization was established in 2016. The community center in Hybla Valley is the first of its kind to be built by COT.
The all-affordable residential high-rises planned at Dominion Square West are officially moving forward.
During its meeting on Feb. 15, the Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously approved the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s (APAH) project, which will replace parking lots currently used by auto dealerships with two 21-story buildings.
In addition to providing 516 units for people earning 60% of the area median income or less, the development will contain private and publicly accessible open spaces and a 33,500-square-foot, two-story community center, all of it supported by a five-story underground parking garage.
“I think this is great,” Dranesville District Commissioner John Ulfelder said. “It fits what we agreed to earlier, it’s going to be a terrific opportunity, and that it’s going to be all affordable is amazing.”
Early in 2022, the commission approved a 175-unit building at 1592 Spring Hill Road that was intended as the first phase of development for the 2-acre parcel.
However, a $55 million investment from Amazon enabled APAH to tackle both phases of the project at the same time. The developer filed a new plan with the county last summer.
“We really think that getting these units online quicker, getting the community center online quicker and the significant increase in the number of units really is a great thing for the county, a great thing for the Tysons area,” said Scott Adams, a McGuireWoods land-use attorney representing APAH.
The community center will be operated by Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services and feature a full-size gym, meeting spaces, multi-purpose rooms, kitchen, administrative offices, and flexible classroom spaces, according to a county staff memo.
It will also have a 1,900-square-foot skypark — the second level of a courtyard with play equipment, outdoor seating, grilling stations and other private amenities for residents. The skypark will be open to the public when not being used by the community center.
Public forums held last year confirmed there’s “a distinct need” for a community center to serve both residents of the new development and Tysons in general, Adams said.
“There was a desire and a need for these types of facilities where they can have community meetings, where they can have CPR classes, where they have those recreational opportunities that really just don’t exist right now,” he said.
Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina said she prefers this location for a community center over The View, a mixed-use development planned at the Spring Hill Metro station that had proposed a similar facility.
With the community center going in Dominion Square, The View’s developer will likely provide support for a new athletic field instead, county staff recently told FFXnow.
As discussed at a Tysons Committee meeting last month, several commissioners suggested the county needs to be more “strategic” or thoughtful about what public facilities are needed in Tysons and where they should be located.
“While we’re concerned about community centers and having too many of them or having them in the right spot, schools I think is another thing for us to consider where they are,” Hunter Mill District Commissioner John Carter said. “We have one maybe committed. We’re probably going to need more in Tysons over time.”
According to a Dec. 27 letter, Fairfax County Public Schools projects Dominion Square West will result in 43 to 70 new students for the Marshall High School pyramid.
While that isn’t expected to push the schools over capacity, FCPS warns increased residential density “will necessarily increase [student membership], which may negatively impact the instructional program to the detriment of the students involved.”
Adams said the Tysons area should have more capacity by the time the development opens. Planning is underway to convert the Dunn Loring Center into an elementary school, though the boundaries won’t be determined until construction begins next year.
Fairfax County has made some progress over the past decade in introducing public amenities to support its growing community in Tysons.
Since adopting its Tysons Comprehensive Plan in 2010, the county has secured sites for 14 new, major public facilities, including the completed Scotts Run Fire Station and Capital One Hall, which is privately owned but guarantees space for community groups under an agreement with ArtsFairfax.
Tysons has also added 34 acres of parkland, including four urban parks within the past year, and athletic fields are “ahead of where we need to be based on the…development that’s been delivered,” Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Urban Centers Section Chief Suzie Battista told the Fairfax County Planning Commission’s Tysons Committee at a Jan. 12 meeting.
Planning is underway on other projects, like the relocation of Fire Station 29 to serve western Tysons, but with the area booming in terms of development and population, commissioners asked how county staff decide what needs to prioritize when negotiating commitments from developers, known as proffers.
For instance, why is a community center going into the planned residential high-rises at Dominion Square, rather than a library?
“I think what some of us are concerned about is that opportunity cost,” Providence District Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner said. “If we make a commitment to a community center, what are we not doing, not able to do as a consequence of that decision? Why is that community center a priority over that thing that we are not able to do?”
The need for a community center in Tysons dates back to the comprehensive plan’s adoption and “was of great interest” to former Providence District supervisor Linda Smyth, who retired in 2019, according to DPD Deputy Director Chris Caperton.
The plan recommends phasing in public facilities based on population and employment growth, acknowledging that they can take a long time to plan, fund and construct.
A community center is listed as a “current need” in the county’s Tysons Tracker, along with a Dominion Energy power substation and interim office space for police. Though the data platform doesn’t show a threshold for a library, the comprehensive plan predicts one will be needed when Tysons reaches 50,000 residents, or between 2030 and 2040.
As of 2022, Tysons had 30,124 residents, according to county data. The county’s plan calls for 100,000 people by 2050. Read More
The Providence Community Center is set to be renamed after former Fairfax County Board Supervisor and House Delegate James M. Scott.
At last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Providence Supervisor Dalia Palchik introduced a board matter initiating the process of renaming the Providence Community Center in Oakton after Scott.
Scott was a longtime county supervisor before being elected to the House of Delegates by a single vote in 1991. He’s known locally as a supporter of human rights, affordable housing, and school-based daycare centers. Scott also founded the nonprofit Celebrate Fairfax, according to Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross.
In addition, he’s the namesake for two county awards: one that recognizes achievement in building design and planning and the other for “community spirit.”
As a state delegate, he pushed for letting people register to vote by mail, at DMVs, welfare offices, and employment centers. He also got a bill passed that required gubernatorial candidates to appear and personally endorse the content of their political ads as a means to reduce negative campaign advertising.
He was also an “early proponent of making the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday,” per Palchik’s board matter. Scott died in 2017.
During the discussion, a number of supervisors chimed in about Scott’s impact and legacy in the county.
“I think about Jim a lot, I really do. He was definitely ahead of his time in a lot of ways…Above all, he cared about community,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said. “To put his name on a community center is such a wonderful thing.”
Chairman Jeff McKay noted that when he first met Scott, he was introduced to him as “Mr. Community.” Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity also applauded the renaming.
“He was from a different time — a better time, I would say, in terms of the Board of Supervisors,” Herrity said. “He was really about community and getting things done for the citizens of Fairfax County… I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than naming the community center after him.”
While the approval of Palchik’s board matter starts the process of renaming the community center, it remains unclear officially when it will actually happen.
“We will be working with the Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Services on developing a timeline,” a spokesperson for Palchik’s office wrote FFXnow in an email.
The doors of the $18 million Lorton Community Center are now open, ahead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony set for this coming weekend.
The 30,000-square-foot facility on Richmond Highway is combined with a renovated and expanded Lorton Library as well as the new 1.7-acre Lorton Park.
The community center features a gym, a fitness room, a kitchen, an art room, and a sensory room. The facility also includes space for the Lorton Senior Center and the Lorton Community Action Center, a nonprofit that provides emergency financial assistance to those in need.
The 10,000-square-foot library has been expanded by 6,000 square feet for a larger children’s area, increased seating, and more meeting and study rooms. The new Lorton Park is located behind the parking lot and has open field space, picnic tables, playground, fitness area, and a trail loop.
The facility also has sustainability features like a rain garden, underground stormwater facility, and infrastructure for solar panels.
The full project — the park, community center, and library — cost $27.23 million, with the community center accounting for essentially two thirds of the cost, according to a county spokesperson.
The entire facility opened to the public yesterday (Monday) with a ribbon cutting and “community celebration” scheduled for Saturday (Oct. 15) afternoon, rain or shine.
Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck, Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay and other local officials are expected to attend. There will be tours of the new center and light refreshments.
The facility was initially scheduled to open late last month but was pushed several weeks to allow for “final facility work to be completed,” Storck said.
The Lorton Community Center and Lorton Library facility will open its doors Oct. 10, 2022, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Oct. 15, 2022. The new opening date was shifted from a previously-announced date of Sept. 26 to allow final facility work to be completed.
— Supervisor Dan Storck (@DanStorck) September 23, 2022
A grand opening for the new Sully Community Center is set for Sept. 17 at noon, celebrating the conclusion of a nearly $22 million project by Fairfax County.
County board members and county officials will celebrate the opening of the nearly 36,000-square-foot center, which is located on five acres at the intersection of Wall Road and the Air and Space Museum Parkway in Chantilly.
The facility is the new home for the Sully Senior Center, which formerly operated in leased space in Chantilly. It also includes a 4,000-square-foot healthcare suite managed by HealthWorks for Northern Virginia.
“I am pleased the new Sully Community Center will be opening to provide a wide array of accessible programs and services for the surrounding communities,” Sully District Supervisor Kathy Smith said in a statement to FFXnow. “The exciting addition of the healthcare suite will provide closer accessibility to primary healthcare for those who have faced barriers in healthcare access.”
Are you ready to celebrate the new Sully Community Center? Join us for the Grand Opening Saturday, Sept. 17th beginning at 12 pm with the ribbon cutting! Then stick around and enjoy food, performances, family activities, and more! #sully #community #communitycenter #grandopening pic.twitter.com/Vqn3T3w65P
— CelebrateFFX (@CelebrateFFX) August 30, 2022
Programs include after school classes, facility rentals, fitness classes, gym sports, and meeting spaces. The Fairfax County Park Authority is also offering specialty camps, garden plots, school-aged child care, youth camps and recreation services.
Smith noted that the county’s partnership with the park authority also resulted in additional gym space and pickleball courts.
The center cost roughly $22 million to construct. Overall costs are pending because the project is still being finalized, a county spokesperson told FFXnow.
Construction on the project began in October 2020.
Fairfax County plans to direct $3.5 million in unspent funds to Tysons for two projects expected to play an integral role in the area’s future.
The still-undefined and unnamed “Tysons Anchor Organization” could receive $2.5 million this fall if the fiscal year 2022 budget carryover package presented to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors last Tuesday (Aug. 2) is approved.
Envisioned as a long-term, more sustainable replacement for the Tysons Partnership, the organization will support economic and community development as a nonprofit “designed to serve as a catalyst for the transformation of Tysons into an inclusive, vibrant, and globally attractive urban center,” according to the carryover package.
The county already allocated $125,000 in June for legal, planning and marketing work to establish the anchor organization. Those funds came from a $1 million Economic Opportunity Reserve grant that the board nominated Tysons Partnership for in 2020.
The anchor organization is currently on track to be in place this October.
“The carryover funding, if approved by the Board, would be available beginning in mid-October for the partial first year operating budget of the organization,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik’s office said.
The proposed carryover package also contains $1 million for the Tysons Community Center that will be included in the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s planned affordable housing at Dominion Square West (1592 Spring Hill Road).
If approved, the money will cover engineering consultant work, county staff time for project management, and a mechanical, electrical and plumbing peer review, though the overall design and construction is expected to be financed by Fairfax County Economic Development Authority bonds.
The county held community forums last month to gather the public’s input on what services and facilities should be available in the upcoming center.
Carryover refers to county funds that went unspent in one fiscal year and can be moved over to the next. The county has $199.61 million available from FY 2022, which ended June 30, thanks to higher-than-anticipated revenue, “continuing close management of agency spending and prolonged vacancy levels,” according to an Aug. 4 news release.
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on the carryover package on Oct. 11.
Tysons residents will soon get to shape the plan for Fairfax County’s community center in the upcoming Dominion Square West housing development.
The county’s Department of Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) staff will host a trio of community engagement forums later this month to gather feedback on potential services, activities and programming for the new facility, which will fill 30,000 square feet at the base of a 20-story residential high-rise at 1592 Spring Hill Road.
“In advance of the center’s opening, the county is engaging the community to ensure the new facility meets their needs and interests,” NCS said in a news release on Tuesday (June 28).
Floor plans for the community center suggest it will have two levels and feature a 7,500-square-foot gymnasium, 2,100 square feet of administrative offices, a 675-square-foot kitchen, and multipurpose space.
Accoording to the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development, spaces labeled as multipurpose in the proposed layout will be more specifically defined based on the public’s suggestions for programs and services.
“It is our understanding that the overall square footage of the community center is fairly fixed,” the department said. “There may be some opportunities to refine sizes of the spaces within the community center to a certain extent based on feedback from the community.”
NCS is planning to discuss its vision for the center at two virtual forums — one in the morning, one in the evening — as well as an in-person meeting at the end of July:
- Session 1: Thursday, July 14, 10:30 a.m.-noon *This session will be held virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to you separately.*
- Session 2: Thursday, July 21, 6:30-8:30 p.m. *This session will be held virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link will be emailed to you separately.*
- Session 3: Thursday, July 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. *In-person session at the PARC at Tysons, 8508 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182*
Advance registration is required through Eventbrite. Community members can sign up for more than one meeting, since “each session will build on the prior session,” the registration page says.
Made possible in part by a $55 million grant from Amazon, the Dominion Square project will deliver two 20-story buildings with a total of 516 apartments — all of them aimed at people who earn 60% or less of the area’s median income.
Located near the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons West, the development will also have five levels of underground parking, with 140 spaces reserved for the community center. Proposed amenities include a 1,900-square-foot skypark for the community center.
Fairfax County is currently reviewing nonprofit developer Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing’s plan for Dominion Square, which was submitted in early June. Public hearing dates for the application haven’t been scheduled yet.
While it won’t be quiet around Fairfax County on Monday with Fourth of July celebrations, many government offices and facilities will be closed.
Government offices, and some businesses, are closed for the Independence Day holiday. Public transportation schedules may be lighter and public services, like trash collection, may be changed. See our listing below to get details on what will be open and closed.
Fairfax County government offices will be closed Monday (July 4) in recognition of the Fourth of July holiday, but some facilities are open and schedules vary.
The library system’s branches will be closed on Monday. Animal Control is closed, as it normally is, on Mondays.
The Circuit and District courts will be closed Monday.
The Town of Herndon offices will be closed Monday.
All Park Authority rec centers and golf centers and will be open Monday. Historic sites, nature centers and Green Spring Gardens will be closed. Frying Pan Farm Park Farm and indoor arena will be open while its visitor center will be closed. The River Bend Park Visitor Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All Neighborhood and Community Service facilities will be closed Saturday (July 2) through Monday. Reston Community Center Hunter Woods will be open Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Lake Anne will be closed on Monday.
The McLean Community Center will be closed.
Herndon Community Center will be closed Monday. But Herndon Centennial Golf Course will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., weather permitting.
Fairfax Connector will operate on a Saturday service schedule on Monday. Human Services Transportation (FASTRAN) will not operate on Monday.
On Monday, Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight but last train times vary by station. The Orange Line trains will operate between Vienna and Stadium-Armory only, according to Metro, but free express and local shuttle buses will be provided.
The county advises residents to contact their trash and recycling collector directly for service schedule changes due to the holiday.
The I-66 Transfer Station and I-95 Landfill Complex will be closed Monday.
Town of Herndon recycling will be collected Tuesday (July 5) since it is normally collected Monday.