Reston Association’s pool season has officially kicked off, although the opening date of Lake Thoreau pool is not yet known for this season.
The complete pool schedule — which is divided into five seasons — is available online.
RA says it has hired 85% of its lifeguard staff, overcoming labor shortages that often plague these positions. Last year, two pools were temporarily closed when staff members contracted COVID-19, but staffing was generally not an issue.
“Seasons four and five toward the end of the summer continue to be the most challenging for aquatics staff recruitment and retention as students return to school and start fall activities,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone said. “We continue to recruit lifeguards.”
North Shore’s heated pool and spa and Ridge Heights heated pool opened first on May 13. RA is actively hiring for more lifeguards online.
It’s still unclear if and when Lake Thoreau Pool, which is undergoing major renovations, will open this year.
Leone said the decision will depend on the timing of the project’s completion and approval from RA’s Board of Directors.
“At this point, the pool is close to 70% completed and we anticipate an early September completion,” he said.
The massive renovation of Lake Thoreau’s pool is likely to be completed by late August or early September.
Reston Association spokesperson Mike Leone told FFXnow that the renovation is on track to finish later in the summer. If it’s completed by early September, RA’s Board of Directors will determine if the pool will reopen this year, since only a few weeks would remain in the pool season.
“It is a timing issue,” Leone wrote in a statement.
So far, the project is roughly 65% complete, according to a recent Reston Today video, which is produced by RA.
The new, roughly $3.5 million facility will include a pool with six lap lanes, a ramp to provide ADA access, a redesigned deck, a larger 25-space parking lot, an overlook with a pollinator garden, and expanded bathhouses, which have been moved away from the spa.
The pool has been closed since 2020 and was scheduled to break ground two falls ago. In the latest update to the RA board, staff reported that the pool was roughly one month behind schedule.
Chris Schumaker, RA’s capital projects director, said work on ADA-compliant areas is underway. An ADA ramp will lead to the main area, and the future elevated deck will extend from the edge of the pool and overlook the lake area.
Schumaker also said an issue with the retaining wall prompted a relocation of the new spa — a move that allowed the area to become ADA-accessible and cover a larger footprint.
“Due to retaining wall issues on the site, we had to relocate the spa,” Schumaker said.
The bathhouse has also been fully gutted, leading towards the 400-square-foot addition’s completion. It will also include a family bathroom.
In the fifth and last phase of RA’s pool season, only three pools are open from Sept. 5 through Sept. 24.
The renovation of Lake Thoreau Pool is roughly one month behind schedule, according to Reston Association staff.
At an RA meeting on March 23, capital projects coordinator Chris Schumaker said the delay is approximate due to unforeseen conditions.
“We are forecasting four-week delay due to site conditions,” Schumaker said.
So far, the project is roughly 50% complete. The pool base, retaining walls, propane tank and concrete structural supports have been completed.
Construction on the structural steel component of the deck, the storm drain, and parking is in progress.
Schumaker also said the addition to the bathhouse is on hold due to a problem with a sanitary sewer connection in the area.
Despite the unforseen delay, Schumaker said the pool’s reopening is still slated for sometime in the summer.
“We still hope to have an opening sometime in the last summer of this year,” he said.
Lake Thoreau’s pool has been closed since 2020 for the renovation project, which was originally scheduled to break ground two falls ago.
The new facility will include a pool with six lap lanes, a ramp to provide ADA access, a redesigned deck, a larger 25-space parking lot, an overlook with a pollinator garden, and expanded bathhouses, which have been moved away from the spa.
The project is expected to cost roughly $3.5 million.
Cerebral, a public art piece created by South Lakes High School’s STEAM club on the Lake Thoreau spillway, is officially no more.
There are no plans to install the sculpture after high winds loosed its joints and its pieces fell into the lake and beyond last weekend, according to SLHS art teacher Marco Rando.
The sculpture is the first to fail because of the elements and the seventh installation overall placed by the club on the spillway.
Rando said that, although the sculpture is designed and engineered for extreme elements using hurricane ties, the winds damaged some of the joints.
“The tie down cables worked to keep the elements secured to the concrete base even when half sculpture fell into the lake,” Rando said. “Fortunately the wood members of the sculpture allowed the work to float, this helped in towing the work to shore where it was disassembled in smaller pieces for transport back to the school.”
Because of the significant damage to the sculpture, the team decided not to focus on reassembling.
But it won’t be long before another sculpture will take its place. Students are currently working on a new concept — “Rise” — that will face “more engineering scrutiny” to buttress the sculpture to weather more natural elements.
“The team is very confident this year’s concept will be aesthetically beautiful with added structural details to withstand the erratic weather conditions that seem to be common of the current climate change. The students of STEAM Team take great pride in serving the community,” Rando said.
He says setbacks like the structural failure of an artwork are a learning experience for all.
“Such setbacks will only strengthen the students experience, this real world problem, which occurs on professional levels as well, affords the Team opportunity to examine and resolve issues before they are unsettled,” Rando said.
The high winds on Friday (Feb. 17) proved too much for public artwork installed by South Lakes High School’s STEAM club on Lake Thoreau’s spillway.
After high winds blew off several pieces of the artwork “Cerebral,” the exhibit was removed from the platform. Composed of aircraft cable, barrel swivels, wire, paint, solar panels and wood, the artwork was installed in June.
“RA’s CSF team safely recovered all the artwork pieces that ended up in the lake and removed the remaining pieces from the spillway on Saturday morning,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone said.
The pieces were returned to the school. As of now, it’s unclear if reinstallation is planned. Another artwork is planned for the same area this summer.
The county was under a wind advisory throughout Friday evening. Winds were reportedly traveling at 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Developed under the guidance of SLHS art teacher Marco Rando, the sculpture aims to conceptualize the complexity of the brain. The brain and body is depicted as a cohesive force, challenging the idea of humans being left brained or right brained, according to nonprofit organization Public Art Reston.
The artwork is the eighth installed by the STEAM club. Students present designs to Public Art Reston and Reston Association’s Design Review Board for approval. According to Public Art Reston, the design is tested for durability, constructed by students, disassembled and then reinstalled on the spillway.
Rise, the ninth art installation by South Lakes High School’s STEAM team, will bring a set of high-rises to Lake Thoreau’s spillway.
At a meeting before Reston Association’s Design Review Board on Tuesday (Jan. 17), students said the new concept is inspired by the growth of Reston’s population and emergence of high-rise construction — an ode to the community’s goals of “reaching new heights in progress, innovation and diversity.”
The project, which is currently in the planning phase, includes rectangular shapes with different colors, levels and sizes, representing the different layers of Reston’s community. Here’s from the STEAM team on the inspiration of the sculpture:
Our community is host to a colorful combination of nationalities, sexualities, and cultures, all of which complement one another and ensure prosperity. The variety of colors and rising levels showcased by our sculpture are meant to depict these groups which build upon one another, helping our community reach its aspirations and Rise above any barriers we may face. This sculpture, symbolic of our love for this city, illustrates Robert E. Simon’s actualization of a town “closer to hearts desire” of its residents
The model — which is the team’s tallest project to date — is made of tinted plastic, while the white sections will be covered with designs inspired by public art around Reston.
The team plans to make the frame out of smaller cubic units to separate the building. The blocks will be connected by bolts and brackets to cluster the buildings, and extra braces will support the structure.
Materials for the project include lumber, disband paneling, strata class, solar panels and cables.
The team raised roughly $6,000 to complete the project, largely through crafting at a local event, an exhibition at a local restaurant, and calendar sales.
Students plan to begin fabricating the model in February, with installation expected sometime in May or June, according to presentation materials.
Unlike previous years, the team hopes to complete installation before the end of the school year, SLHS student Sophia Pakhom said.
In response to a concern about possible light pollution, DRB chair Michael Wood noted that light spillage is going to be “pretty minimal.”
However, he encouraged the team to paint the wooden base white to avoid detracting from the rest of the design.
A substantial renovation to Reston’s Lake Thoreau pool is 25% complete, putting the multi-million dollar project on track for opening by the 2023 pool season.
Demolition, regrading and structural support for the elevated deck are officially complete, according to Chris Schumaker, Reston Association’s capital projects director. At a Dec. 15 board meeting, Schumaker said the planned addition to the bathhouse will begin shortly after the New Year.
“We’re currently holding on schedule and anticipate opening sometime during the 2023 pool season,” he said.
Fine grading, structural steel work and concrete work is in progress for the pool basin, he told the board.
The project could see delays due to weather impacts — but currently no delays are anticipated.
On-site work at 2040 Upper Lake Drive began over the summer. The facility has been closed since 2020 for the renovation project, which was first set to break ground in the fall of 2021.
The renovated facility will include six lap lanes and a ramp to provide ADA access, a redesigned deck, a larger 25-space parking lot, an overlook with a pollinated garden, and expanded bathhouses.
The project is expected to cost roughly $3.5 million.
The Lake Thoreau pool in Reston has been reduced to a dirt ditch at the corner of Sunrise Valley and Upper Lake drives, paving the way for a full renovation of the facility.
On-site work at 2040 Upper Lake Drive began over the summer. The pool has now been completely demolished, including the pool shell and concrete deck, according to the latest update from Reston Association.
“The spa is completely gone from here, and the wading pool is gone from up top. All that material has been brought off site, and now, we’re on the recreating process,” RA Capital Projects Manager Austin Mayhugh said in the video posted last Friday (Sept. 30).
Now, the crew from contractor Hubert Construction is preparing to install caissons to serve as the foundation for the pool’s new wooden deck, which will overlook Lake Thoreau, Mayhugh said.
Other construction activities on the horizon include laying a new stormwater pipe that will go under the parking lot, followed by pouring for new retaining walls around the site.
Going forward, the contractors will generally be working from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to Mayhugh. RA still estimates that construction will take about a year, projecting a potential opening in summer 2023.
“In the next coming months, we anticipate machinery still coming through the site, which will make noise,” Mayhugh said. “We appreciate your patience, and we can’t wait to see this wonderful new facility open up this summer.”
Lake Thoreau’s pool has been closed since 2020 for the renovation project, which was originally scheduled to break ground last fall.
The new facility will have a pool with six lap lanes and a ramp to provide ADA access, a redesigned deck, a larger 25-space parking lot, an overlook with a pollinator garden, and expanded bathhouses, which have been moved away from the spa.
According to RA, the overall project carries an estimated cost of $3.5 million, which hasn’t changed despite inflation and supply challenges affecting the construction industry in recent months.
“It is possible that at some future date that could change due to inflation or other factors, but at the present time, that is not the case,” RA spokesperson Mike Leone told FFXnow.
County and local officials have given Reston Association the green light to begin construction on the new Lake Thoreau pool, the organization says.
The work will begin in the next few weeks, moving forward after it took seven months for officials to approve permits for the renovation.
RA is working with Hubert Construction to complete the one-year project. A new bathhouse, pool structure, retaining walls, sidewalks, fencing, parking lot and deck will be constructed.
RA originally hoped a groundbreaking would take place in the winter of 2021 and permits would be available in late February or early March. But the timeline was pushed back due to “extended contract and negotiations that overlapped with the holiday season,” according to RA. The association is still aiming for a 2023 opening.
Construction will take place on weekdays only between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The parking lot will be closed and a detour area will be established.
Here’s more from RA on the breakdown of the project timeline:
Following site security, heavy machinery will be brought in to perform selective demolition and site grading. This phase is anticipated to take two to three months. Following selective demolition, installation of structural elements including retaining wall foundations, concrete piers and stormwater pipes will occur. This phase is anticipated to take three to four months. Following the structural elements phase, installation of the new pool basins and deck, parking lot, retaining walls, sidewalks, fencing, and bathhouse addition will commence.
This phase is anticipated to take five to six months and will conclude major construction and mark substantial completion of the project. Final clean up, inspections close out and punch list fulfillment by Hubert will occur before RA takes control of the facility. At that point RA will complete installations related to public art and maintenance equipment. A preconstruction notification mailer will be sent to all nearby property owners two weeks in advance of mobilization.
RA intends to post periodic updates on its website.
Reston Association is urging residents to avoid using water from Lake Thoreau for irrigation until mid-October.
The guidance comes after Aquatic Environment Consultants treated Hydrilla, an invasive aquatic species, on the water. Conducted monthly and typically around the middle of the month, treatments will continue throughout the summer to maintain low levels of herbicide in the water.
The company was contracted to treat Hydrilla when it became a “nuisance” two years ago, according to Ben Rhoades, RA’s watershed manager.
“There are no use restriction associated with the herbicide, Fluridone, other than irrigation,” Rhoades wrote in a statement to FFXnow.
In 2020, RA encouraged residents to avoid contact with the lake after a major algae bloom took over the surface of the lake. The incident piqued conversations about RA’s maintenance of its lakes and the most appropriate timing of lake treatment to avoid similar issues in the future.
The bloom was later ruled non-toxic.