Construction is scheduled to begin soon on a new $850,000 community center and an adjacent $3.5 million recreation complex in the town of Herndon. Both facilities are scheduled to be completed next year.
Last Sunday, about 150 people who live in Herndon and surrounding areas attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the Herndon Community Center, which will be built near the corner of Ferndale and Vine streets behind St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
The ceremony had the air of a celebration, with music provided by the Herndon High School Concert Choir, and a table laden with food set out by the Business and Professional Women of Herndon. Neighbors gathered to visit under clear blue skies and hear speeches by town and county officials, and the citizens who worked for three years to make the facilities possible.
"The center is for you. You've worked for it and you deserve it," said Mayor Thomas D. Rst. The audience applauded town council members, who Rust said had "scrupulously studied the spending of your funds on this building." Rust said many residents and business have supported the new facilities and that he had not received a single complaint about plans to build the community center or the recreation facility.
Many of the speakers referred to the new facilities as "a dream come true." It would still only be a dream, some said, were it not for the work of one resident, Vi Varmona. Looking around the rapidly expanding town of Herndon, Carmona saw a need for community recreational facilities, they said, and became the chief organizational force in mustering community support.
"We didn't have any form of recreation at all except for private pools," Carmona said. So she went with another resident, Marie Woodard, to former Mayor Gary Lopp and Town Manager Bob Noe to present the idea for the facilities. Carmona said, as long as they were willing to do the groundwork and had citizen support.
From thenon, friends said, Carmona kept the ball rolling, involving residents, businesses and teen-agers in the development. A group of students called the Youth Social Advisory Council was organized in 1975, and Carmona was their sponsor. The group has rised over $2,000 for the center. Carmona also heads the Herndon Citizens Task Force, appointed by Mayor rust in 1976 to represent Henrdon residents' interests in the facilities.
The all-brick community center will house a regulation-sized gymnasium, which will also be use for community activities; a kitchennette, which can be used also by community center, for meetings or other activites, and multi-purpose rooms that can be used by community groups and for arts and crafts, pre-school recreation or games.
Herdon's parks and Recreation offices now located in the town Hall be in the new community center when it is completed. The Parks and Recreation Department is expanding its community programs to include year-around classes and activities once the center opens according to Arthur Anselene, director of Herndon Parks and Recreation. At present time, the department holds most of its activities outdoors during summer months only. The Fairfax County Mini Center Social Services will also be located in the center.
Mary Ross, a 10th grade student a Herndon High School said she already loved the new community center, and will use it "every day and every night," Earl Newman, a senior at Herndon High, she is looking forward to using the gym in the new center as soon as it is completed.
The $850,000 community center is being built by Fairfax County, which provided $750,000 of the cost through community block grant funds. The town of Herndon is supplying $100,000 through its general town fund. Construction of the center is expected to begin in the next two weeks, and should be finished by early 1979, Anselene said. Once the center is built, it will be operated and maintained by the town Herndon.
Ground will be broken at 2 p.m. April 28 for a 160-acre recreational complex next to the community center. That facility is expected to be opened to the summer of 1979, Anselene said.
The complex is scheduled to include an 18-hole municipal golf corse and two parks. One 12-acre park will have six lighted tennis courts, a little league field, a soccer-football field, an adult softball field, horsehoe courts, shuffleboard, basketball and velleyballs courts, a tot lot and a food concession buildingthe other 6-acre Park will have a picnic area, open play space and a tot lot.
The recreational complex is beign finance primarily through a bond referendum approved by Herndon voter in March 1977. The town also will receive approximately $375,000 through the State Commission on Out-door Recreation.