Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Letter: Terry Maynard writes Fairfax County's DPWES that the Reston Visual and Performing Arts Presentation is not a "feasibility study."

Subject:  Reston Arts Center "Feasibility Study" (Project # CC-000024)

From:  Terry Maynard <>
Cc:  Walter Alcorn, John Carter, Leila Gordon, Center Stage, Lynne Mulston, Dennis Hays, Bruce Ramo, Linda Ramo, Jennifer Jushchuk, John Mooney, John Mendonca,,, Bob Petrine,,, Tammi Petrine
Tue, Jun 21 at 8:40 PM
Dear Mr. Herrington,

I have been involved in an e-mail exchange with Leila Gordon, D/RCC, about the self-described "feasibility study" for a potential Reston Virtual & Performing Arts Center (VPAC).  Although she said she would send my questions to your department, she didn't, choosing to give her usual non-answers back to me.  (Correction: Ms. Gordon subsequently informed me that she had sent the questions to your office.)

The nub of my concern is that the presentation and video presented to the community last week was not a "feasibility study."  In fact, there is no "study" to read and understand and consider.  Here is a good definition of a "feasibility study": 

A feasibility study is an analysis that considers all of a project's relevant factors—including economic, technical, legal, and scheduling considerations—to ascertain the likelihood of completing the project successfully.

Whether a project is feasible or not can depend on several factors, including the project's cost and return on investment, meaning whether the project generated enough revenue or sales from consumers. (Investopedia)

I think you will agree that the presentation and the video do not meet the requirements of this definition (or any other).  What I saw is no more than a capture of the wishes of a limited number of Restonians (& I attended some of the meetings) optimized to the constraints of a 60,000GSF building.  (Actually, it's a 57,000GSF building as the minute footnote states.  And the visual arts "gallery" is a minuscule corner of the building.) There is no competitive analysis, there is no demographic analysis, there is no financial risk analysis, there is no funding source(s) analysis, etc.  And, from my perspective, it also fails to take into any consideration the several other higher priority needs in Reston:  a new elementary school to ease overcrowding, a long overdue new Reston regional library, and a Hunter Mill District recreation facility (the only magisterial district without one).

The fact of the matter is the G&P product is nothing more than a sales device.  There is no analysis, no balance in this "study" at all.  It short sells the county and/or RCC that funded it, it short sells the community that expected and deserves a thorough and balanced real feasibility study, and it virtually promises a poor decision on whether to proceed and, if so, how. 

As a Reston resident, I hope that you will see the need and value of proceeding immediately with a complete, thorough, and balanced VPAC feasibility study to protect yourselves and the Reston community. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Terry Maynard
Reston, VA