Email Newsletter
Reston Regional Library (file photo)

The Friends of Reston Regional Library (FRRL) is celebrating Fairfax County Public Library’s theme for 2022 — the year of literacy — with a record-setting gift.

The nonprofit organization, which has been supporting the Reston library since 1985, is providing a grant of $200,000 to the county library system to expand its printed and digital materials for the library collection.

According to Eileen Evon, a spokesperson for FRRL, this is the largest single gift the organization has ever given to FCPL.

“The gift will give a much needed boost to the library’s ability to add more copies of popular titles already in the catalog, while also expanding the depth and breadth of many subject areas, including fiction for all ages, as well as non-fiction books, bi-lingual books, and books in other languages for young readers,” FRRL said in a news release.

FRRL issued the following statement regarding the gift:

The truth is, between the hard wear and tear on highly circulated print materials, the increased demand for digital materials, and the increase in total checkouts and library card holders, the County budget to the Library for collections just hasn’t caught up to the need. We know they are reviewing this and hope that it will change in the future as the library system continues to grow and change.

In the meantime, we thought the Year of Literacy was the perfect time for us to call public attention to this pressing need, and pitch in ourselves with the monies generated — one book at a time — by our hardworking volunteers who sort and sell books and media from over 40 tons of donated materials each year. After talking with Director Hudson and the head of Technical Operations, Dianne Coan, we know the Collections Development team will work hard to make the most out of every dollar to strengthen and expand the collection to best serve all of its patrons.

The gift will be formally handed over in a ceremony on June 8 at an FCPL Board of Trustees meeting. FCPL director Jessica Hudson, the board, Hunter Mill District Supervisor Water Alcorn, and other local officials plan to attend.

The Friends are also providing one-time grants to local organizations in an effort to support and promote literacy in the community. Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 and will be awarded to a group that provide hands-on programming that directly impacts literacy in Reston, Herndon, and the county overall.

The news comes as FRRL positions itself to support the creation of a new library for Reston — which has been contemplated for several years. While county voters approved a bond in 2012 to fund the project, FRRL president Brian Jacoby noted that more funds may be needed.

“Every branch has its own unique requirements to best support its staff, volunteers, and patrons,” Jacoby wrote in statement. “New furniture, materials and equipment, or facilities space specific to the needs of our local community may not be covered by either the developer’s plans or the County’s funding. Our volunteers and our patrons are long-time active users of the Reston branch and they have a strong love for the library and what it provides to our community.”

The Friends’ board recently affirmed its commitment to set aside savings for needs related to the future building.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

A spring dandelion (photo by Marjorie Copson)

Case Against Park Police Who Shot McLean Man Dropped — “Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) on Friday dropped the state’s federal appeal in the manslaughter case against two U.S. Park Police officers, effectively ending any attempt at criminal prosecution of the officers who fatally shot unarmed motorist Bijan Ghaisar in a Fairfax County neighborhood in 2017.” [The Washington Post]

Hundreds Help Pack Ukrainian Refugee Donations — “Hundreds of volunteers gathered this weekend in Oakton to help pack approx. 1800 boxes with donations collected for displaced Ukrainians. Huge thanks to our community members for donating, these wonderful volunteers, and to Paxton Co. for generously shipping these items.” [Chairman Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Mount Vernon Fire Started by Hair Dryer — A house fire in the 3700 block of Nalls Road on Wednesday (April 20) was started accidentally by an electrical event involving a hair dryer in the basement bathroom, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. There were reported injuries or displacements, but the fire caused an estimated $37,500 in damages. [FCFRD]

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Critical to Covid Response — “Since February of 2020, over 1,400 MRC members volunteered more than 65,000 hours at vaccination clinics and testing events, and assisting with outreach, isolation and quarantine efforts, logistical support, and so much more.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

Merrifield Nonprofit Gets Boost from Football Fans — “Wolf Trap Animal Rescue keeps receiving donations from the public in honor of Dwayne Haskins, the former Washington quarterback who died in an accident on a Florida highway on April 9. Haskins…selected Wolf Trap Animal Rescue as his organization to represent for the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats campaign.” [Patch]

Turner Farm Observatory Seeks “Dark Sky” Designation — “To help reverse the trend of growing light pollution, the Great Falls observatory applied to become an Urban Night Sky Place with the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA)…If approved, the observatory would become the first IDA-designated place in the Washington region.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Construction Starts on Woodley Hills Park Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin the installation of a new playground and removal of the existing playground the week of April 25, 2022. Construction access to the site will be from Old Mount Vernon Road. It is anticipated that the playground replacement will be completed by early June 2022.” [FCPA]

Reston Library Book Sale Starts Wednesday — The Friends of the Reston Regional Library will host its biggest book sale of the year, starting with a members-only night from 5-8 p.m. on Wednesday (April 27). The sale will be open to all starting at 10 a.m. Thursday through Sunday (April 28-May 2) and include 35,000 to 40,000 books. [Friends of the Reston Regional Library]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:19 am and sunset at 7:57 pm. [Weather.gov]

0 Comments
The county has issued a request for proposals for the project (via Fairfax County Government)

A plan to possibly convert a portion of the Reston District Police Station’s parking lot into affordable housing is moving forward.

At Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn’s request, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors directed staff yesterday (Tuesday) to schedule a public hearing to consider conveying county-owned land to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

“This will be for the development of affordable housing with appropriate replacement of secure parking spaces dedicated to police use and subject to the stipulation that in the event the FCRHA no longer pursues the project, the FCRHA will transfer ownership of the property back to the Board,” Alcorn wrote in a statement.

The move sets in motion the redevelopment of the Bowne Towne Court area. The county received an unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt last month to build affordable housing on the existing parking lot, a new Reston Regional Library, and a parking garage. The area is located at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.

After receiving the proposal, the county began advertising for competing proposals to determine next steps for the project. The project would redevelop a nearly three-acre parcel owned by FCRHA and includes 1.6 acres of the nearby board-owned police station.

A date for the public hearing has not yet been determined.

Bids for the project close on May 16 at 2 p.m.

Alcorn emphasized that moving forward with the transfer of property to FCRHA does not mean that the county is in favor of the recently submitted plan. All options will be considered as the proposal moves through the development process.

The board recently upped its goal for additional affordable housing units to 10,000 by 2034. Alcorn set a target of 1,000 additional affordable housing units in the Hunter Mill District by the end of 2027.

0 Comments
The county has issued a request for proposals for the project (via Fairfax County Government)

For years, discussions have swirled around the possibility of developing the Bowman Towne Center and Reston Regional Library.

With the receipt of an unsolicited proposal to redevelop the property, Fairfax County is beginning to formalize plans to move forward with the project.

The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) has issued a call for competing bids on the project, which is at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive  and Town Center Parkway, according to a March 31 release.

The unsolicited proposal from Foulger-Pratt aims to redevelop an existing 2.9-acre property owned by the FCHRA into an apartment building for working families, a new Reston Regional Library, and free parking for all.

The plan also calls for another building with affordable housing on the parking lot currently used by Reston District Station officers and staff. A new garage is planned for police use. The building would have up to 400 units, replacing 30 affordable rental townhomes on the site.

“Our approach to unlock the value of this property addresses not only housing but also the community infrastructure necessary to grow and thrive in our complex world,” the proposal says. Project details — including renderings — are largely redacted.

“This announcement is an exciting step forward for a much-needed new Reston Regional Library and the sustainable and socially responsible redevelopment of Reston Town Center North,” Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said in a statement.

The request for proposals closes on May 16 at 2 p.m. Whatever plan eventually gets approved would be under the terms of a long-term, nominal ground lease from the FCRHA.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list