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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A historic first day of school at Bailey's Upper Elementary School

The bus drop-off went smoothly.
About 600 third, fourth, and fifth-graders streamed into the brand-new Bailey’s Upper Elementary School Sept. 2 on the first day of the 2014-15 school year. Housed in a former office building on Leesburg Pike in Seven Corners, Bailey’s Upper is the first vertical, urban-design public school in Fairfax County.

Principal Marie Lemmon and Jeffrey Platenberg, assistant superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools for facilities and transportation services, welcomed students as they stepped down from their buses. FCPS Superintendent Karen Garza and school board member Sandy Evans also stopped by.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pro Maxx Fitness is being evicted

A letter to members on the front door says the gym expects to close at the end of the month.
Owners, employees, and members of Pro Maxx Fitness in the Annandale Shopping Center on Columbia Pike are mounting a petition drive to fight the landlord’s plan to evict the gym by the end of September.

It’s all about a disagreement over the lease, says personal training manager Rachel Martin. Pro Maxx doesn’t have a written lease and has been rent to the owner of the shopping center, the McWorter family, on a monthly basis. Pro Maxx wants a five-year lease but the shopping center manager, Carol Zach Reuss, “won’t agree to anything,” Martin says.

Suspicious death in Culmore area

The body of an adult male was discovered in a parking lot in the 6000 block of Bellview Drive in the Culmore area of Baileys Crossroads just after 2 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 1, Fairfax County Police report.

There was “trauma to the upper body,” according to the announcement in the police blotter. “Police are investigating this as a suspicious death. However there is nothing to indicate any threat to the general public. The exact manner and cause of death will be determined the Office of the Medical Examiner.”

Remember the needy on Day to Serve, Sept. 13

A volunteer collects donated groceries at the Annandale Giant during the 2013 Day to Serve. [ACCA photo]
Local residents are encouraged to contribute food items during Day to Serve, an interfaith community service event on Sept. 13 aimed at filling the food pantries operated by Annandale Christian Community for Action (ACCA) and the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church.

Volunteers will be collecting food donations at the Giant grocery store at 7317 Columbia Pike in Annandale and the Shoppers Food Warehouse at 6360 Seven Corners Center in Falls Church on that day from 9 a.m. until approximately 3 p.m.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Local Boy Scouts explore wilderness on a Western camping trip

Members of Boy Scout Troop 895 of Falls Church headed west for summer camp this year, traveling a bit farther than usual, reports Matt Dillard, assistant scoutmaster.

After over a year of planning and fundraising, 26 boys and 14 adults spent a week in Yellowstone National Park and a week in the Grand Tetons.

Friday, August 29, 2014

77 townhouses planned for Columbia Pike

This house on Powell Lane will be torn down to make way for townhouses.
Stanley Martin Homes plans to start work soon on the development of 77 townhouses on Columbia Pike between Powell Lane and Madison Lane. Two long-time businesses on that site, Rosslyn Auto Body and Nicholls Imported and Domestic Car Service, have relocated.

Site preparation for the Ambrose Hills community is expected to start within the next two or three weeks, and demolition would start in late September or early October, says J. Truett Young, director of land acquisition for Stanley Martin. Construction of the models would start in May 2015, with the first sales taking place around August.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

County education campaign targets speeding

Braddock Supervisor John Cook (left) speaks at kick-off of anti-speeding campaign.
Fairfax County launched an anti-speeding campaign Aug. 28 aimed at educating drivers about the dangers of speeding on neighborhood streets.

Fairfax County supervisors, Fairfax County Police Department officials, and leaders of community associations and Neighborhood Watch groups gathered at the FCPD driver training facility in Chantilly for the kick-off of the “Slow Down: You Live Here. We Live Here” campaign.

Victory Lane Aquatic Club has a new coach

The Victory Lane Aquatic Club (VLAC) is continuing under a new coach, Shawn Mansfield.

The swimming program was founded in 2008 by Clayton Joyner of Annandale, who died in May at the age of 29. Joyner had been a champion swimmer on the Falls Church High School swim team and was a coach for the Falls Church High School and Holmes Run Pool swim teams.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Seven Corners Task Force to vote on Sears redevelopment plan Sept. 9

The Sears site on Route 7 in Seven Corners

The Seven Corners Land Use and Transportation Task Force, at its Aug. 26 meeting, deferred a scheduled vote on a redevelopment plan for the Sears site on Leesburg Pike until Sept. 9. The task force had planned to select one of three options spelling out the amounts of multifamily housing, townhouses, retail, and office uses for the site currently occupied by a Sears store and two office buildings.

Task force co-chair John Thillman presented a fourth option, calling for 110 townhouses, 50,000 square feet of office space, 34,000 to 134,000 square feet of retail, and 315 to 415 apartment units. The number of apartments would depend on how much retail there would be.

Bailey's Upper Elementary school offers light-filled, innovative learning spaces

A science lab.

The brand new Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, retrofitted in a former office building on Leesburg Pike in Seven Corners, offers “a rich environment for learning and a rich environment for teaching,” says Jeffrey Platenberg, assistant superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools for facilities and transportation services. Pointing to all the windows and great views, he says, “the natural light makes these learning spaces come alive.”

Principal Marie Lemmon with a video display panel in the lobby.