Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library Renovation Meeting

Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library on Route 7 will be closed for renovations this winter.  Supervisor Foust will answer questions at a meeting at the library Monday night to discuss planning and renovations of the library. 

  • Monday, September 28, 2015
  • 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
  • Tysons Pimmit Regional Library, Meeting Room A
    7584 Leesburg Pike Falls Church, VA 22043- 2099

The library was constructed in 1983. Planned renovations include increasing public space meeting rooms and adding public computers.

County architect Tiya Raju will be the main speaker.  She will introduce the renovation design to the local community.

A temporary site during renovation with a very limited book collection is being considered, but a lease has not been signed.  Woodrow Wilson's temporary facility housed 10,000 volumes.  Currently Tysons-Pimmit's collection is about 106,000 volumes.  If there is a temporary site opened, it will operate on reduced hours, not on regional library hours. 

The library is expected to close February 2016.   Renovation is expected to take eighteen months.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

County Proposes to Bulldoze Reston Library

The following letter-to-the-editor was printed in the Reston Connection: 

County Proposes to Bulldoze Reston Library and Homeless Shelter

We look to our elected and appointed officials to support our communities and to work to improve the lives of all our citizens, including our children, our seniors, young graduates, recent arrivals to our country and even the most disadvantaged among us.  Two institutions in Reston epitomize this sense of caring and hope for the future - the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Homeless Shelter.  How can it be then, that our elected and appointed officials are working to physically tear down both of these institutions with no announced plans to replace them, leaving the residents of this region poorer both in education and in spirit?  

The County recently announced its intention to redevelop an extensive area in North Reston.  This area is divided into eight sections.  Six of the sections have little or nothing of significance in them.  Two contain the Library and the Shelter.  Guess which two the County wants to bulldoze?   

The County proposes to turn this land over to a "Public/Private Partnership" to redevelop into commercial, retail and residential high rises, and "public facilities". They have said repeatedly the "public facilities"  MAY include a new library and shelter in the mix if the developer chooses to do so.  Or they may not.  And the County does not guarantee any replacement will be of the same size or offer the same services, much less anything better.    

The County is approaching this backwards.  Their first priority should be to serve their constituents.  In 2012 the citizens of Fairfax County approved a $10 million bond specifically to either build a new regional library in Reston or to significantly expand and improve the current facility in keeping with our population growth.   Three years later they have done nothing.  
Given the County's actions with respect to our libraries in recent years - the massive destruction of books, particularly children's books, the cutback on hours of operation and repeated attempts to downgrade the professional qualifications of our librarians - a certain skepticism is prudent.  But the County has an opportunity to restore confidence in its commitment to the public:  

First, in the case of the library, by publicly stating what their plans  are - three years after the bond passed - on remodeling or replacing existing facilities.

Second, by confirming the will of the electorate that any new library structure will be of greater size than the current facility with a full book collection and at least the same number of dedicated parking spaces as well as improvements that will make it a viable library in a community whose population and employment the County projects will double in a quarter century. 

And third, by doing what should have been done years ago and establishing a Citizens Task Force to be involved in all phases of the planning process.  Oh, and any new structures should be built before the old ones are demolished.  This is what was done with the new and old North County Government Centers and it makes a lot of sense.  
There is no reason we have to destroy the best parts of us just for the sake of a few dollars of new tax revenue for the County.  After all, revenue for the County is supposed to be used to support the citizens of Fairfax - like by having a library people want and use and a homeless shelter to catch those who would otherwise fall through the cracks.     

Ambassador Dennis K. Hays (ret.)    
Chairman, Fairfax library Advocates

Reston Regional Library in Reston Connection Article

The following article appeared in the Reston Connection:

Reston Citizens Association has an 11-page, seven-step plan for Reston Town Center North, its library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter.

“We suggest that the county renovate the vacant Cameron Glen facility and move the Embry Rucker Community Shelter into this space. We recommend that the County build a new and larger library on the former Embry Rucker Community Shelter site using the approved $10 million bond as a starting point,” according to Reston Citizens Association.

Supervisor Cathy Hudgins promises a community dialogue meeting this Saturday, Sept. 19 regarding the future of Reston Town Center North and “vision for delivery of services,” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne.

Hank Schonzeit published RCA’s White Paper, “Reston Town Center North Redevelopment,” on Sept. 8 after RCA met with library officials and representatives from Cornerstones which manages the Embry Rucker community shelter.  

RCA developed its own list of goals, concerns and questions along with a proposal for the redevelopment of Blocks 7 and 8, according to RCA.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

RCA White Paper on Future Redevelopment of Reston Regional Library

Executive Summary from Reston Citizens Association's White Paper on the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North which includes Reston Regional Library:

At a community meeting on July 29th,Fairfax County presented the idea of a proposed redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTC North), focusing on Blocks 7 and 8.The redevelopment was framed as a public-private partnership, and was expected to include new housing and commercial space. The Library and Embry Rucker Community Shelter “may” be rebuilt on the site. Residents were allowed brief comments and questions. A follow-up meeting was announced for September 19th.  
Attendees were told that the county would defer redevelopment of the remainder of the County-owned area (Blocks 1, 3, and 5) until an unspecified future date because “it was too much to work on at the same time.” Many attendees were disappointed to hear of this delay in planning the much-anticipated County-funded Recreation Center and Performing Arts Center. People who live and work in Reston are passionate about their community. They are especially passionate about our library and Reston’s commitment to social action. 
Many of the attendees expressed concerns about the future of the library and the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, and the possibility that services would be compromised if these facilities were moved to temporary locations or their redevelopment was delayed until the development of further blocks. Other concerns included the lack of any community oversight and uncertainty regarding the developers’ adherence to Reston’s Master Plan guidelines. Reston Citizens Association (RCA) reviewed the presentation and met with representatives of the Fairfax County Public Library and Cornerstones (the organization managing the Embry Rucker Community Shelter) as well as some members of the community to understand their perspectives on the proposed redevelopment and what outcomes they would each respectively like to see at the end of it.  
Following that and our own analysis, we have developed an initial list of goals, concerns and questions along with a proposed approach to the redevelopment of Blocks 7 and 8. We recognize the perceived challenges in placing a homeless shelter in the midst of market priced housing. We are proposing an approach that may serve to address this challenge as well as many of the community’s concerns. We suggest that the county renovate the vacant Cameron Glen facility and move the Embry Rucker Community Shelter into this space. We recommend that the County build a new and larger library on the former Embry Rucker Community Shelter site using the approved $10 million bond as a starting point. This approach not only addresses the stated concerns, but provides other advantages as well, as outlined in the discussion below. 
The entire RCA White Paper may be read here:

Friday, September 4, 2015

Meeting Concerning the Future of Reston Regional Library

The following message was included in Supervisor Cathy Hudgins' September Newsletter.  What is not mentioned in this article is that the Reston Regional Library is one of the "key services" being considered for redevelopment and/or relocation.   As this is the only county meeting scheduled to allow public input for the redevelopment of Town Center North, please attend.  Numerous questions arise about Reston Regional:  How many square feet will be included in the new library, how many print and ebooks will be accommodated, and will there be adequate dedicated parking for library patrons.

Reston Town Center North Redevelopment and Human Services Delivery:  Join the Dialogue

On Saturday, September 19, 2015, Supervisor Hudgins will host a Community Dialogue meeting to discuss evolving needs in Reston and the North County area, including regional delivery of human services and the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTNC).

Fairfax County Deputy County Executive Patricia Harrison and staff will highlight the proposed health, housing and human services community input process.  Fairfax County Deputy Executive Rob Stalzer and Project Coordinator, Public-Public Private Partnership Branch, Andrew Miller, will discuss the County and Inova's efforts to fulfill the Comprehension Plan vision for the Town Center North-Mixed Use area, including the most recent Request for Proposal (RFP) process and potential development scenarios that may be considered for RTCN.  The goal is to have the community identify key services, and vision for delivery of services in the region and within the RTCN footprint.

The meeting will be held from 9 am to 1 pm at the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne - Rose Gallery Room, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston.  To RSVP, please send us a message to