Morning Notes

McLean Downtown Plan Public Hearing Today — The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. today (Tuesday) on the McLean Community Business Center plan, which unanimously passed the planning commission earlier this month. The plan aims to revitalize McLean’s downtown area but has faced objections over parking, building heights, and the potential impact on local schools. [Fairfax County Government]

Capital One Center Starbucks Closed — The Starbucks at Capital One Center (1610 Capital One Drive North) is temporarily closed “due to limited office occupancy during the COVID pandemic,” a spokesperson for the development confirmed to Tysons Reporter, adding that the coffee shop is expected to reopen “in the near future.” [Capital One Center]

Madeira School Expansion Approved — “Fairfax County supervisors on June 8 voted 10-0 to grant a special exception allowing Madeira School to add a new science building, more faculty housing and improved equestrian facilities on its McLean campus…Under the newly approved plan, Madeira will have 518,255 square feet of gross floor area, with up to 45 residential units and up to 12 accessory-dwelling units.” [Sun Gazette]

McLean HS Turf Field Replacement Starts Today — “Starting tomorrow (June 22nd), the turf field and track at our stadium will be closed until early August. This shut down is due to our turf field being replaced. We apologize for inconvenience.” [McLean High School]

Wolf Trap to Salute Front-Line Workers — “Wolf Trap is officially back open for in-person shows after a year of pandemic closures. So what better way to celebrate than a series of ‘Thank You Community Concerts,’ saluting frontline workers, education workers and health care workers?” [WTOP]

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Morning Notes

Teen Arrested after Police Chase on I-495 — Virginia State Police arrested an 18-year-old from Portsmouth on multiple charges, including abduction and possession of a concealed weapon without a permit, after he reportedly led a state trooper on a chase in a stolen car on Friday (June 18). The trooper attempted to pull over a Honda Civic going 80 mph in a 55 mile-per-hour zone on Interstate 495, leading to a chase that ended when the Honda rear-ended a trailer on Lee Chapel Road. [WTOP]

Work Begins Today on McLean Field Conversion — “Work is scheduled to begin Monday to convert the existing soccer field at Holladay Field Park in McLean to synthetic turf. Crews will also install stormwater and drainage features and other site improvements. It’s expected to be completed in October.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

The Langley School Breaks Ground on New Facility — “On June 18, The Langley School officially broke ground for a state-of-the-art new building on its 9.2-acre campus…Called the Crossroads Building, the facility is scheduled to open in fall 2022 and will house the preschool, junior kindergarten, kindergarten, fifth grade, and after-school programs, along with a library/media center and a multipurpose space.” [The Langley School/Patch]

Vienna Completes New Public Art Project — “Come on out to the latest project by the Vienna Public Arts Commission and get your picture taken with butterfly wings! The display, painted by Madison graduate Myles Temple, is by the batting cages at Caffi Field.” [Town of Vienna/Facebook]

Comedian Puts on Father’s Day Show for Jammin’ Java — “Vienna native Allan Sidley likes to make a room laugh. Despite his stage fright, Sidley got into stand-up comedy seven years ago, and has been bringing laughter to people’s lives ever since. Sidley likes to look at life with the perspective of laughing makes things better.” [Fairfax County Times]

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Morning Notes

Woman Pulled Over by State Trooper Calls for Accountability — “Charges against a Black woman pulled over and arrested in Fairfax County, Virginia, have been dropped by the county’s commonwealth attorney and expunged by the courts. But Juanisha Brooks is demanding further action as a result of the March traffic stop…Brooks maintains she was profiled before the stop and treated poorly after it because of her race.” [WTOP]

Fairfax County Parks Inch Back to Normal — “Facilities throughout the Fairfax County park system are returning to nearly normal operations after a series of closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we ramp up and reopen, some sites may operate on limited schedules or require preregistration for activities, so we strongly urge park visitors to call sites in advance or check our website to ensure access and availability.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Governor Delivers Speech at Final George Mason HS Graduation — Gov. Ralph Northam served as the commencement speaker at George Mason High School’s Class of 2021 graduation ceremony on Wednesday (June 2). It was the first ceremony at the City of Falls Church’s newly built school and the last one before it transitions to the new moniker of Meridian High School. [Falls Church News-Press]

Grant Approved to Replace McLean Field — “The Fairfax County Park Authority Board has approved a $20,000 Mastenbrook Volunteer Matching Fund Grant request from the McLean Youth Soccer (MYS) Association for improvements to Holladay Field in the Dranesville District. Board members voted in favor of the request at their meeting on May 26, 2021.” [Fairfax County Park Authority]

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Morning Notes

McLean Resident Killed in Hit-and-Run — 43-year-old Allen Romero died on Sunday (May 16) after being hit by a 2011-2015 Ford Fusion while crossing eastbound Leesburg Pike just before the Redberry Court intersection in Great Falls. Officers responded to the scene around 5:21 a.m. and are now looking for witnesses. This is Fairfax County’s fifth pedestrian fatality so far in 2021. [FCPD]

Man Stabbed in Tysons Galleria Area — A man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being stabbed during an argument in the 1700 block of International Drive around 7:56 p.m. on May 7, police say. 40-year-old Atef Shaker-Armanuos of Falls Church was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. [FCPD]

Hearing Scheduled in Bijan Ghaisar Case — “A federal judge in Alexandria on Friday set Aug. 23 as the date for a hearing on whether manslaughter charges against two U.S. Park Police officers, for the 2017 fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar, should be dismissed. A Fairfax County prosecutor told the judge the hearing could last five days.” [The Washington Post]

Live Music Returns to The Boro — “Get your dancing shoes ready — live music is back at #TheBoroTysons! Plan an alfresco evening complete with free music from local performers every Thursday, 5:30pm-8pm this summer, starting on June 3rd.” [The Boro/Twitter]

New Soccer Field Opens on Graham Road — Fairfax County officials, including Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and School Board Representative Karl Frisch, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday (May 15) for a new soccer field at the Graham Road Community Building in Falls Church. [Rachna Sizemore Heizer/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Vienna Resident Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering — A Vienna resident pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to a money laundering scheme tied to the terrorist group Hizballah. Prosecutors say the decade-long scheme was deployed to ship electronics equipment to a television station in Lebanon. [Patch]

Spring Hill Turf Field to Be Replaced — Spring Hill Park in McLean will undergo maintenance work starting on June 21 to replace a synthetic turf field. Work hours will be limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, though the contractor can work on Saturdays to avoid project delays if there is inclement weather. The project is expected to be mostly complete by Labor Day. [Fairfax County Park Authority]

Maryland to Downscale Beltway Project — The Maryland Department of Transportation will limit its planned Capital Beltway expansion to the construction of a new American Legion Bridge and the addition of two toll lanes in each direction on the bridge from I-270 to I-370. The project is considered critical to the success of Virginia’s 495 NEXT project to extend the I-495 Express Lanes to the bridge in McLean. [DCist]

Longfellow Finishes Second in National Quiz Bowl — “A quiz-bowl team from Longfellow Middle School finished second in the nation in the 2021 Middle School National Championship Tournament, held online the weekend of May 1. Longfellow’s “A” team made it 20 rounds into the competition before losing to the eventual champion, the “A” team from Winston Churchill Middle School of Carmichael, Calif.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

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At its meeting tonight (Wednesday), the Fairfax County Park Authority Board will finalize the funding to convert Holladay Field from natural grass to synthetic turf.

The plan for the field was approved by the board in June 2020, but more funds are now needed because of an increase in material prices due to the pandemic. The board has been asked to approve an additional $127,135 to cover a budget shortfall.

According to the board’s meeting agenda, the funding will come from a park bond approved by Fairfax County voters in 2016 — specifically from money that was tagged for a redesign and expansion of Langley Fork Park.

The project carries an overall estimated cost of $1.6 million. About $1.5 million in funds have already been approved, including money from the 2016 park bond, renovation funds for existing Langley Fork Park facilities, and $650,000 contributed by McLean Youth Soccer, which is working with the park authority on the project.

The project will also receive a $20,000 Mastenbrook Matching grant, according to Fairfax County Park Authority Public Information Officer Judy Pedersen.

Located at 1311 Spring Hill Road next to Spring Hill Elementary School, Holladay Field is a 5.1-acre park with a full-size natural-turf athletic field.

“The change [to synthetic turf] is a reflection of the continued growth in field sports such as soccer,” Pedersen said.

The project will help McLean Youth Soccer provide more practice and game-day space for its 3,000-plus players, according to MYS Executive Director Louise Waxler, who says there is “a critical need” for more facilities as the program has grown.

“The conversion of the Holladay field to synthetic turf offers the youth of McLean another quality playing surface requiring far less maintenance and increased accessibility for user groups,” Waxler said.

The Park Authority has contracted with Fieldturf to install the new artificial turf field.

According to the board agenda, the county received an initial proposal from the contractor for $1.48 million on Jan. 18. That was negotiated down to $1.43 million on Feb. 8, but the price was still 16% higher than anticipated based on an engineer’s estimate that it would cost $1.2 million.

County staff reduced the budget shortfall from $292,000 to the $127,135 scheduled to be approved today by eliminating a proposed fence and soccer side goals from the project. McLean Youth Soccer will instead provide movable side goals for the field.

The project timeline has not changed, with construction still set to start in mid-June and expected to take approximately four months.

“Thanks to Supervisor Foust, the Fairfax County Park Authority, and the generous investment by two private donors within McLean Youth Soccer, we are one step closer to meeting our field needs,” Waxler said. “This is not only an investment in our kids, but also an investment to the McLean community as a whole.”

Image via Google Maps

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Work on a new roof and synthetic turf field for McLean High School will begin this summer after the Fairfax County School Board approved contracts of nearly $1 million combined for the two projects yesterday (Thursday).

A $386,480 contract to replace the school’s roof went to R.D. Bean, Inc., which was selected out of a pool of seven companies that submitted bids for the project on Dec. 18.

The field replacement will be done by Astro Turf, LLC, for $548,500. Four other contractors were in contention for the project, which received bids on Dec. 9.

“These critical improvements will help McLean High School continue offering world-class educational and athletic opportunities for our students as the school division and community work to address ongoing capacity needs,” Providence District School Board Representative Karl Frisch said.

FCPS says that the replacement of McLean High School’s existing turf field, which was installed in 2012, is part of an ongoing, division-wide program to maintain the quality and usability of school athletic fields.

The roof, which was built in 1997 with some additions constructed in 2001, will be replaced in one-month phases over the next four summers. This year’s work will encompass approximately 30,000 square feet of roofing.

McLean High School is currently undergoing construction for a 12-classroom modular building that is expected to be finished in the next couple of weeks, Dranesville District Representative Elaine Tholen told the school board on Tuesday (Jan. 5).

The modular will replace 12 trailers at McLean, which is about 300 students over capacity as of the 2019-2020 school year, according to the most recent Fairfax County Public Schools proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

FCPS staff did not calculate program capacity utilization for the current school year in the proposed FY 2022-2026 CIP, because the majority of students have been learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even with the modular, McLean High School will still have 22 temporary classrooms in trailers.

In the hopes of providing further relief from overcrowding, FCPS is conducting a boundary adjustment study that could potentially shift some future McLean students to Langley High School.

“I am happy to see this investment in infrastructure at McLean High School along with our modular classroom construction and several building modifications,” Tholen said. “These necessary enhancements will serve current and future students and staff as we continue efforts to alleviate overcrowding at the school.”

Photo via McLean High School PTSA

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Fairfax County Public Schools is looking for contractors to replace the roof and synthetic turf field at McLean High School.

The projects were introduced at the Fairfax County School Board’s Dec. 3 meeting as new business, meaning they were not up for a vote yet. Instead, the board will take action at a future meeting.

According to FCPS, plans and specifications have already been prepared for both projects, and they are scheduled for construction bid openings this month. Bids on the turf field replacement will be received on Dec. 9, while bids for the roof replacement project will come in on Dec. 16.

Bid tabulations and recommendations for which contractors should be awarded the projects will be presented to the school board prior to its Jan. 7, 2021 meeting.

FCPS Director of News and Information Lucy Caldwell says the actual construction work on the new field and roof will take place over about a month in the summer of 2021 “due to seasonal and occupancy coordination.”

McLean High School had its existing synthetic turf stadium field installed just eight years ago in July 2012.

“This location hosts a single field, resulting in greater wear and tear and a shorter life span than schools with two fields,” Caldwell said.

Stadium field replacements, including the installation of new goal posts and soccer goals, are typically estimated to cost between $500,000 and $550,000, according to Caldwell.

Largely built in 1997 with some additions in 2001, McLean’s roof will be more time-consuming to replace. The project could potentially span up to four years, with construction taking place for one month each summer.

The first year of work will address just over 30,000 square feet of roofing. With each square foot costing between $15 and $20, total estimated costs range from $450,000 to $600,000.

“This project will bid and be constructed in phases each year,” Caldwell said.

Photo via McLean HS Athletics/Twitter

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The synthetic turf field at the Graham Road Community Building in Falls Church is going to be replaced.

As part of its consent agenda, the Fairfax County School Board voted on Oct. 22 to award a $93,000 contract for the project to GTR Turf, Inc., a Fredericksburg-based contractor that specializes in artificial turf and grass.

Though the school board is responsible for awarding the contract, the funding will come from the Fairfax County Park Authority as part of a partnership between the county and Fairfax County Public Schools.

“The synthetic turf field at the Graham Road Community Building is one of the few playing fields available for community use in the area,” Providence District School Board representative Karl Frisch said in a statement. “I am grateful for our continued partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority, which makes the funding for important projects like this possible.”

GTR Turf was one of five companies that FCPS deemed qualified to compete for a contract to construct the Graham Road turf field during the bidding period, which closed on Sept. 30. The four other contractors all submitted bids proposing construction costs that exceeded $100,000, ranging from $129,397 from Astro Turf LLC to $169,880 from Hellas Construction, Inc.

Located at 3033 Graham Road, the Graham Road Community Building housed Graham Road Elementary School until the school was relocated to its current site along Route 29 in 2012.

Governed by a shared-use agreement between the county and FCPS, the building now provides education, recreation, and other public services, according to Frisch. It serves as a School Age Child Care program center and a Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services drop-in site for students in grades seven through 12.

Construction to replace the Graham Road Community Building’s existing turf field was allowed to start on Oct. 22 after the contract was awarded. The project is expected to be fully completed on Feb. 5, 2021, according to FCPS’s invitation to bid.

Image via Google Maps

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The Fairfax County Park Authority Board plans to present an award to Meridian Group for helping to create Quantum Field in Tysons.

The Meridian Group, which is behind the new Tysons development called The Boro, teamed up with the county’s Board of Supervisors and Park Authority to transform a former parking area into Quantum Field as a proffer agreement for The Boro.

The multisport athletic field fits into the vision for “a robust park system” in Tysons, according to the county’s announcement about the award on Tuesday (July 28).

The development company will receive the Harold L. Strickland Partnership and Collaboration Award, which is named after a former Park Authority board member and honors teamwork to add state-of-the-art facilities, during a virtual ceremony in November.

More from the county:

Through this unique partnership between developers and park planners, Meridian agreed Quantum Field would be operated by the Park Authority and built in accordance with FCPA standards. The agreement stipulated that Meridian would maintain ownership of the property and grant an easement to the FCPA, outlining the terms of maintenance and operation of the field. This partnership allowed Meridian and FCPA to overcome challenges with the site related to utility easements and the field’s location adjacent to the Capital Beltway.

The field, which opened in 2019, is built with synthetic turf and has a playing surface of 180 feet by 360 feet. It offers play for five sports and includes black vinyl perimeter chain-link fencing, concrete walkways, bleacher pads, parking lot lighting, sound-containing walls and landscaping.

Because it was built with synthetic turf, Quantum Field allows for year-round use and is not affected by weather to the degree of natural turf fields. Lighting allows for extended use into the evening hours. Concrete walkways make it accessible for all; landscaping enhances its aesthetic appearance; and the sound barriers benefit area residents who are not using the field.

The field, along with the county’s other athletic fields, is open for organized and permitted use as long as people follow COVID-19 guidelines from the governor, local health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the county.

Synthetic fields can accommodate up to 250 people as long as people keep 10 feet away from each other when possible and officials, coaches and players undergo a COVID-19 screening before entering the fields.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority/Flickr

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