Saturday, July 23, 2016

Let's Save Reston's API Building

These are a few excerpts from an opinion piece in the Washington Post  

...
On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on a developer’s rezoning application for the site. If approved, the building will be razed and replaced by townhouses and condominiums. Last month, the Fairfax County Planning Commission recommended the application be denied.


. . . the ARB [Fairfax County Architectural Review Board] notes that “The lack of a comprehensive heritage resources inventory within the designated Transit Station Areas along the Silver Line corridor areas is inconsistent with the County’s stated objectives for the District,” a disservice to county residents and developers.
...
The American Press Institute building is part of Reston’s rich tapestry. Given the building’s extraordinary history and architecture, Fairfax County must welcome proposals for adaptive reuse.
Great buildings should be celebrated and treasured. Communities have the responsibility and privilege of serving as their stewards. Breuer’s American Press Institute building deserves a second life, not a demolition permit.
Read the full article here

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Will you help save one of Reston’s architectural treasures?

Reston’s American Press Institute (API) building is under the threat of demolition.

A local developer has submitted an application for rezoning the property in order to build townhouses and condos. He’s not interested in adaptive reuse of the historical and architecturally significant building, which is located at 11690 Sunrise Valley Drive.

A local petition has been signed by more than 1,518 individuals, representing Reston, the rest of Fairfax County and Virginia, 39 other U.S. states and territories, and dozens of countries around the world. We encourage you to sign it:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/breuer

The API building is the only building in Virginia designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Marcel Breuer, a master of Modernism. Breuer also designed the Whitney Museum of American Art (now the Met Breuer) in New York City, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, the U.S. Embassy in The Hague/Netherlands, and the HUD, Robert C. Weaver and Hubert Humphrey buildings in Washington, D.C. Many of his buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition to its architecture, the building also has historical significance: Tens of thousands of journalists and newsmedia executives — representing a “Who’s Who in Journalism” — attended leadership seminars, conferences and industry summits in the nonprofit’s headquarters from 1974 to 2012. It was the showcase of North American newsmedia training.

In addition to signatures, a distinguished coalition is growing, including the Reston Citizens Association, American Institute of Architects (as well as its Virginia and Northern Virginia organizations), Fairfax County Architectural Review Board, Fairfax County History Commission, and Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Historic Resources. (Please see the petition for the complete list of supporters.) Add to that citizens, community leaders, architects, historians and preservationists, journalists and other newsmedia executives across North America, former staff, and others who believe that Breuer’s building should be preserved.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors soon will hold a public hearing on the developer’s application. (Meeting date: TBD). We encourage you to sign the petition now, so that all signatures can be shared with the supervisors in advance of the meeting.

Please help us save the API building. It deserves a second life, not a demolition permit.

LEARN MORE:

Monday, June 27, 2016

Agenda RCA Board of Directors Meeting

June 27, 2016
7:30 - 9:30 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building, 11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA

Item
Time
Topic
Disposition
Presenters

  1.  
7:30 PM
Adopt Agenda
Action
RCA Board

  1.  
7:35 PM
Confirmation of Election of new directors
Action
RCA Board

  1.  
7:40 PM
Election of Officers for 2016-17 Year
Action
New RCA Board

  1.  
7:55 PM
Approve May 23, 2016 Minutes
Discussion and Action
Nick Georgas

  1.  
8:00 PM
Approve Treasurer’s Report
Action
Joe Leighton

  1.  
8:05 PM
API Building
Update/ Discussion
Dennis Hays, Citizen Guests, RCA Board

  1.  
8:45 PM
RA Tetra-Lake House
Update/ Discussion
Sridhar Ganesan, John Hanley, Dennis Hays

  1.  
9:15 PM
Turf Fields
Update
Connie Hartke

  1.  
9:20 PM
501 (c) 3
Update
Sridhar Ganesan

  1.  
9:25 PM
Other Business
Discussion
RCA Board

  1.  
9:29 PM
Location and Time of Next Meeting; Adjourn
Action
RCA Board

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RCA Statement on Independent Audit for Lake House

Read at RA Board Governance Committee Meeting
June 14, 2016

Good Evening!  My name is Sridhar Ganesan and my home address is 12000 Lake Newport Road.  I am also the president of Reston Citizens Association, an organization that represents everyone in Reston. 

I speak in my individual capacity as well as for RCA to comment on the topic that is uppermost on a lot of people’s minds - the need for, among other things, a detailed review of RA’s acquisition of Tetra/Lake House, together with the revenue and business forecasts that were provided to the members last year when the proposal was first made, the initial cost estimates for the renovation of the facility and the subsequent massive cost overruns as reported recently. 

There are many concerns with regard to the processes, internal controls and decisions that were made from the time the Tetra-Lake House property acquisition was first proposed all the way up to the May 26, 2016 RA Board meeting when $430,000 was approved to be transferred from the operating budget to meet the cost overruns, all of which seem to be outside the approved budget.

For the greater good of Reston and the Reston Association organization, I strongly urge that we perform this bottoms-up review of Tetra/Lake House facility and use that as a basis to improve RA’s operations and make the governance structure much stronger – whether it is within the RA organization, the Board operations or the various committees.  To be effective, the review should include all communications involving Tetra, including e-mails, memos, staff reports, consultant reports, billings, assessments, inspection reports, contractor bids, phone logs, schedule of meetings, as requested by the review panel. 

It is imperative that this review be conducted by an independent panel of citizens from Reston, and not be a RA Board led and not include anyone associated in any way with the purchase, renovation or marketing of the Tetra facility.  It is very critical for the reputation and credibility of RA as well as for those of its current directors and is all the more needed, given the distrust and lack of confidence that currently prevails. 

As a public company chief financial officer by background, I offer my services to be on such an independent review panel - in my capacity as a member of RA and someone with the ability to perform such due diligence.   I am currently in the process of assembling a suitably qualified non-partisan team for our consideration to be a part of this panel.

The key point is to set up a transparent independent review.  So I implore this RA Governance Committee to recommend to the full RA Board that such a committee be established to perform the due diligence required, facilitating all support required in a timely manner to perform the review, including making available all staff and directors on the Board of RA as needed.  For the benefit of the Reston community, we should also charge this panel with making recommendations on governance structures, financial and operational processes and internal controls in order to strengthen RA’s operating and financial structures. 


Thank you for your help in moving this forward. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wednesday, June 15 Evening Meetings of Interest to the Reston Community

The best way to stay informed is to hear information first hand.  Wednesday has two very interesting items:


Public Information Meeting - Soapstone Connector Project
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Place: Room 333A at South Lakes High School11400 South Lakes Drive, Reston 

The meeting will begin at 6:30, with a short presentation at 7:30 p.m. to update residents on the project. County staff will be present to discuss the project and answer questions. For more information contact Audra Bandy at 703-877-5600, or visit Soapstone Connector.



Reston Soccer Town Hall to explore an idea for a major athletic field improvement
Time:  8:00 to 9:30 p.m.
Place: Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Dr, Reston

Reston Soccer wants your input and feedback on a new initiative they are exploring for a major field improvement in Reston. They also want your ideas for improving and maintaining all of the fields. This is a great opportunity to get involved as a volunteer and help enhance the athletic fields we all enjoy!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Potential New Home for Reston Regional Library?

As has been previously reported many times, the existing Reston Regional Library in the Reston Town Center North area is planned to be demolished and rebuilt as part of a multi-year development project that the Fairfax County is currently contemplating for that area. 

Former American Press Institute Building, Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA  Photo Credit: Showcase.com

It has come to light that the former American Press Institute Building (pictured above), which may get a permit to be bulldozed at the Fairfax Planning & Zoning meeting on June 16, could very adequately house the Reston Regional Library. 

All citizens who want an amazing space for our Regional Library, the most used in the County, need to ACT NOW by reading the information on the Fairfax Library Advocates website and then signing a petition by Monday, June 13.  The demolition permit for the API building must be halted so that the option of converting the former API building into Reston's permanent library can be fully explored.

Link to the petition:
ffxlibraryadvocates.blogspot.com/2016/06/petition-to-save-api-building-in-reston.html

More information: ffxlibraryadvocates.blogspot.com/2016/06/american-press-institute-building-new.html

Didn't know the existing library will be razed and need a temporary home for several years? Learn more at restoncitizensassociation.blogspot.com/2015/09/reston-town-center-north-redevelopment.html

Monday, May 23, 2016

Agenda RCA Board of Directors Meeting

May 23, 2016
7:30 - 9:30 pm
National Realty/Hartke Building, 11890 Sunrise Valley Dr, Reston, VA


Item
Time
Topic
Disposition
Presenters

  1.  
7:30 PM
Adopt Agenda
Action
RCA Board

  1.  
7:35 PM
Approve April 25, 2016 Minutes
Discussion and Action
Nick Georgas

  1.  
7:40 PM
Approve Treasurer’s Report
Action
Joe Leighton

  1.  
7:45 PM
Elections Committee
Update
Sridhar Ganesan/ Annmarie Swope

  1.  
8:05 PM
501 (c) 3
Update/ Action
Yavuz Inanli

  1.  
8:10 PM
RTC Parking Proposal
Update/ Discussion
Yavuz Inanli/ Lynne Mulston

  1.  
8:20 PM
RTC – Redevelopment, Library
Update
Hank Schonzeit/ Dennis Hays

  1.  
8:30 PM
St. Johns Woods
Update
Annmarie Swope/ Nick Georgas

  1.  
8:40 PM
Tall Oaks
Update
Lynne Mulston

  1.  
8:50 PM
Reston Transport Network Meeting
Update
Yavuz Inanli/ Connie Hartke

  1.  
9:00 PM
411 Information Doc
Discussion
Connie Hartke

  1.  
9:15 PM
Other Business
Discussion
RCA Board

  1.  
9:29 PM
Location and Time of Next Meeting; Adjourn
Action
RCA Board