Planning Commission To Discuss Terraset ES

FCPS plans 33,463 square feet of additions to elementary school.

Big changes are planned for and the public is invited to speak up on Thursday as the detailed renovation plan goes before the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

To speak before the commission at the 8:15 p.m. meeting, click here (case number is PRC C-203)

Fairfax County Public Schools are planning five new building additions, a new kiss-and-ride area and other changes to the 36-year-old school at 11411 Ridge Heights Rd.

A Nov. 15 staff report highlighted some of the plans, which include:

* A 3,400-square foot administrative addition to the front entrance.

* A 7,613-square-foot art and music addition

* An 11,100-square-foot media and classroom addition.

* A 3,919-square-foot School Age Child Care addition

* A 7,521-square-foot west classroom addition

* A new kiss-and-ride area

* Removing the dual pedestrian bridges and replacing it with one centrally located bridge.

* New parking areas in various locations

* Two asphalt play areas and a soccer field at the rear of the school

* Several stormwater management features.

* Reduction in the tree canopy along the western boundary of the property to accommodate 15-space parking area and stormwater management features. Existing vegetation along the western boundary will also be reduced to a minimum width of approximately 40 feet.

Click here to see the entire staff report.

Mike Rolband of Wetlands Studies and Solutions had previously expressed concern with stormwater management issues at Terraset and at a renovation and expansion at nearby Sunrise Valley Elementary School. However, the staff report says these issues have been addressed.

The additional space will increase the capacity of Terraset from 600 students (487 are enrolled for 2012-13) to nearly 900.

Former principal Ellen Cury said last school year that the expansion was being designed to accommodate a potential influx of population brought to Reston by the opening of Metro's Silver Line in late 2013. Residents can likely expect south Reston elementary school boundaries to be redrawn after the renovation is completed.

Schools advocate John Farrell says he is concerned by the size of the school, as well as by the new soccer field's encroachment on a softball field.

"The field behind Terraset was built with the Title IX money pledged by the Supervisors over a decade ago to compensate for a gross inequity in facilities between boys baseball and girls fastpitch that existed in the county," Farrell said in a letter to Hunter Mill Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. "I was part of a group, FAIR, which threatened to bring suit against the County if those inequities were not remedied.  As part of the attempt to remedy those inequalities, the BOS committed $100,000 each year for 10 years to bring the County's fastpitch fields up to their current standards."

"FCPS proposes to overlay a soccer field across that fastpitch outfield," he said. "When the soccer goal is installed, it will obstruct right center field, making the fastpitch field unplayable and causing conflicts between user groups. The Terraset field is used in conjunction with the three fields at South Lakes and Hughes to form a four-field complex, which is a minimum for operating tournaments for local recreational leagues and for regional and national travel ball tournaments.  Please intervene in this case to preserve the County's compliance with Title IX."

If the planning commission recommends the Terraset plan for approval, it will then go to the Board of Supervisors for vote.


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Karen Goff November 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I don't know if that is necessarily the case. The terraset renovation plans have been in the works for over a year.
Kathy November 27, 2012 at 06:15 PM
It was about a year ago Fairfax County planner Heidi Merkel mentioned redeveloping both of Reston's golf courses at a task force meeting.
John Farrell November 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
So have Northwestern's plans for RNG
Supportive Terraset Parent November 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM
To clarify, the principal of Terraset taught elementary school for six years. Just wanted the facts to be correct.
Joseph V. Morris November 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Kathy, that may well be so. However, when I read through the rationale for the expansion of Terraset (and Sunrise Valley), the rationale was couched in the context of KNOWN development plans for the Dulles Corridor and elsewhere in South Reston; there was no reference whatsoever to providing for (unplanned, and unspecified) development of RNGC as a residential area. Consequently, redevelopment would again put pressure for further expansion -- or alternatively the development of an entirely new elementary school in south Reston.


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