Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

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Christopher S. Herrington,

Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center FAQs

Policy Questions

How long has the Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center been planned?

While this project has been discussed conceptually for many decades, work began in 2015 with a feasibility study for renovating or relocating the City of Fairfax’s Green Acres Community Center. In 2017, a similar study was conducted for the County’s Joseph Willard Health Center. In 2017 the City and the County evaluated the opportunity to combine efforts into one integrated development at the Willard site. They signed a Letter of Agreement for Initial Feasibility Study of Potential Joint Redevelopment later that year, and in 2019, a second Letter of Agreement for Additional Concept Study of Potential Joint Redevelopment was signed between the City and the County to further refine the preferred concept of a joint facility. In May of 2021, the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors approved the Willard-Sherwood Phase 1 Agreement to move forward with conceptual design services for a joint facility.

How was the Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center site selected for this project?

When the Green Acres Feasibility Study Committee recommended replacement and relocation of the community center, the Willard-Sherwood site was one of the finalist locations identified by the committee. As the 2017 Agreement was being developed, the City and County realized the potential benefit of rebuilding on the Joseph Willard and Sherwood campus.

How is the project being funded?

The project is being funded through the County’s and City’s Capital Improvement Programs.

What amenities and services will the Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center provide?

The intention is to continue to provide the same services currently provided by both the Green Acres Community Center, the Joseph Willard Health Center, and the Sherwood Center, allocating additional space for those recreational, arts, and community services, where feasible, with input from the community. The County also plans to expand early childhood programming to include pre-k and infant and toddler classrooms, as well as childcare and after school care. In addition, the County plans to support a team of school health nurses and centralized TB services at the campus.

Will the building be large enough to serve the entire community?

Yes, the new center is estimated to include approximately 95,000 square feet of new construction and serve residents in both the City and the County.

How will this impact the existing campus, Joseph Willard Health Center and Sherwood Center?

The existing Joseph Willard Center will be demolished and a new approximately 95,000 square-foot facility will be erected in its place. The Sherwood Center will undergo some renovations as well, and the space around both buildings will be re-configured to enable seamless and safe integration of programs at both buildings.

How will community input impact the design of the project?

The community was invited to provide input on a variety of aspects of the project during the Concept Design Phase in the first quarter of 2022 and will be invited again in future design stages. These aspects include campus landscape features, architectural features, accessibility, recreational amenities and programs, and common area design and features.

How are you conducting outreach to the community?

A team of public information professionals from the City and the County are working together on this project from one, unified communication and outreach plan. Their approach will be to use their most effective channels for reaching the communities of people who will be interested in this project. Their outreach will use a mix of channels that will include pop-up events, newsletter articles, social media, local media, and direct marketing through key community organizations.

What are the next steps and overall project schedule?

Concept design began in the fall 2021 and is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter of 2022. It is anticipated that a more final design will be completed by the end of 2022, and applications would be filed for land use approvals at that time. Should those approvals be obtained in 2023, permitting would be complete in the first half of 2024 and bidding for construction would occur in mid 2024. Construction is anticipated to begin in the second half of 2024 and be completed by the end of calendar year 2026.

Will the new Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center be a “green” building?

The County and the City are committed to ensuring that the new building has a positive impact on the environment. The building will be designed to incorporate “green” features and strategies to achieve the County’s and City’s sustainability goals, including pursuit of LEED Gold certification and Net Zero Energy.

Will the existing facilities remain open while the new center is being constructed?

It is likely that the services provided by the Willard Health Center and some or all of the programming space at Sherwood will be temporarily relocated during construction (2024-2026) for the safety of all visitors. The impacts to the Sherwood Center will be evaluated as part of the design and any need to temporarily relocate programs during construction will be evaluated at that time. All visitors impacted by this will receive advanced notice of any changes and public transportation will be provided as needed.

How will noise be managed during construction?

The project will adhere to the city noise ordinance which limits construction activities to the hours between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and federal and state holidays.

What will the name of this new site be?

The working title for the site, through construction, is the Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center. A new name for the site has not yet been developed. Should any permanent renaming of the property be considered, the City and County will employ an open process for the naming of the campus, that enables them to also retain the Joseph Willard and Stacey Sherwood names for the respective buildings on the site.

Will both County and City residents have access to the programs, services, and facilities in the Willard Sherwood Health and Community Center?

City and County residents will be able to utilize the building, community programs, and its public services. The City and County have a reciprocal agreement for residents to use recreational facilities in either jurisdiction. The County’s Health Department and Office for Children currently serve County and City residents and would continue to do so in the new building.

How will this project benefit City and County residents?

This project is envisioned as a unique community amenity for residents of both the City and County. It is envisioned as a safe place for all ages to gather, to enhance and cultivate individual and community health, wellness and artistic expression.

Is the ownership of the Willard center changing from county to county and city? Or will the city be renting?

Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax are operating under a joint agreement to conduct the due diligence currently underway and to prepare concepts for the Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center. A future agreement between the jurisdictions would address final design, procurement of contractors, construction, ownership rights, operations, maintenance, and insurance, among other items. This agreement would require review and approval by the City Council and the County’s Board of Supervisors.

Who owns the Joseph Willard Health Center – Fairfax City or Fairfax County?

The Joseph Willard Health Center is owned by the Fairfax County.

What district would the new facility be in?

The new Health and Community Center facility will remain in the City of Fairfax.

Traffic/Parking Safety

How are you going to ease the new volume of traffic entering and leaving the new facility?

As part of the early design phase, the project design team will be undergoing a traffic analysis to assess the impact of the development on the surrounding roadways. The project design team is exploring a vehicular connection between the current Sherwood Center property and the Willard Health Center property to distribute traffic and provide options for drivers entering and exiting the site. Vehicle trips are currently forced to one street or the other, as there is no connection between the two properties.

How will you minimize risk to bikers and walkers on the new bike paths and walkways planned for Old Lee Highway with all the new traffic?

The Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center project will be coordinated with the City’s Old Lee Highway Multimodal Improvements project currently being designed and the CUE bus re-routing currently being planned. The Old Lee Highway Multimodal Improvements plan include new left turn lane into the Sherwood Center from Old Lee Highway, separated bicycle lanes, upgraded pedestrian and transit amenities and improved landscaping, and buffering to encourage visitors who can access the facility without needing a motor vehicle. The CUE bus re-routing will provide enhanced access along Layton Hall Drive, with a stop at the Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center, as well as a stop at the student housing under construction further west on Layton Hall Drive. These regional improvements will benefit pedestrians and bikers in and around the Willard-Sherwood site.

How will the roads around the site be impacted?

A traffic study will be conducted as part of the Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center project that would project future traffic flows to and from the new facility, taking into consideration nearby uses that are existing and under construction, and making recommendations for improvements where needed to manage any additional traffic. With recommended improvements in place, the surrounding roadways will operate similarly to existing conditions.

Will there be ongoing services (during construction), how will parking be accommodated, how will overcrowding be addressed during limited space availability?

Services in the Sherwood Community Center, The Police Department Building and at the Jorgenson’s Health Lab will be ongoing during construction and most parking spaces on those properties may continue to be used during the construction of the new facility. The site development will be carried out in phases and alternate parking will be planned for each phase. An interim parking plan describing where employees, visitors, and construction workers will park during the construction will be prepared.


What type of security will be available? A front desk with security? Locked doors?

A front desk(s) to control access to the facility will be included. Standard and Best practice security measures like noted below will be evaluated as part of the design process in coordination with the City and County’s risk management staff.

  • Security video cameras
  • Panic buttons
  • Access control system
  • Duress alarms
  • Internal and external security checks.

Will Police Department have sufficient space to operate?

The Police Department building will not be affected during the construction. Some part of the Police Department’s site will be affected by the new development, but alternate measures will be in place to avoid disruption to the Police Department’s operation.


Will Van Dyck Park be impacted? How?

The construction of the new Health and Community Center will be coordinated with the City’s Van Dyck Park master plan, but the park will not be impacted due to construction of the new facility.

Will it be safe for the children to play at Van Dyck Park during construction?

A construction management plan will be developed prior to the construction of the new facility. The plan would ensure safe access to the park for visitors so it will be safe for children to play in the park during construction.


Will the new facility have outdoor exercises and game areas like the current bocce ball setup at Green Acres?

The new facility will include a fitness center, full-size gym and walking/running track and game areas like bocce ball setup.

Is the dedicated senior space in new facility bigger or smaller than what they have at Green Acres?

Senior center activities will be relocated from Green Acres to the new health and community center. The new facility will be similar to the existing at Green Acres.

When the senior center programs are moved, what are the plans for the Green Acres site?

Green Acres will remain open until the new center is operational. The future of Green Acres will be determined in the upcoming feasibility study, which is included in the City’s FY23 proposed budget.


What programs will have to pause during construction or where will they be offered while the construction is going on?

Programs affected during construction will be offered at temporary locations and will not be paused at any time.


Will the new facility serve lunch in the Senior center section?

Programs similar to those provided in the current Senior center would be provided in the new Senior center.

How does this affect the senior center in Fairfax?

The senior center at Green Acres would move to the new Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center.

Will the new center have a congregate meals program for older residents similar to the lunch programs offered at Fairfax County senior centers?

A congregate meals program would be considered for the new facility.

Can there be more handicapped parking spaces since there will be so many seniors using the facility?

The number of handicapped spaces will be evaluated as part of the parking analysis conducted for the facility.

How many seniors is the space planned for?

The facility would provide space commensurate with what is provided at Green Acres.

Are there other indoor areas for pickleball besides the gym?

Currently, no other indoor areas are considered for pickleball other than the gym.


Will the current arts programs remain in existing Sherwood?

Yes, the current arts programs will remain in existing Sherwood Center.

What will happen to memorial plaques/trees planted outside the Sherwood Center?

Programs and site features at the existing Sherwood Center are expected to remain, with accommodations to be made for anything that would be affected by the construction.


Will there be spaces for exercise and pickleball?

Yes, there will be spaces for exercise and pickleball.

Will there be gym facilities similar to other Fairfax County Rec centers (i.e., Oak Marr, Cub Run)?

The new facility will have a full-size gymnasium with an elevated walking/running track. There will be a fitness center but smaller than a recreation center such as Oak Marr.

How many courts can you fit in the gym?

Multiple courts can be accommodated in the gym dependent on the sport and court size guidelines.

Will the gym be dividable?

Yes, the gym will be dividable.

Could a mirror and bar be included in the fitness classroom?

Yes, a mirror and bar can be included in the fitness classroom.

Will meeting rooms be available?

Yes, meeting rooms will be available.

Can a flexible Maker Space be added to the building?

Flexible Maker Space is currently not planned for the facility.

Will there be a technology center in this facility?

A technology center is not planned for the new facility.


Will there be an Adult Day Care and transportation to the Health Center at the new facility?

There will not be an Adult Day Health Care at the new Willard- Sherwood Health and Community Center. The Health Department, however, does operate 4 Adult Day Health Care Centers located throughout the county and they do provide transportation. Information about those centers can be found at:

Adult Day Health Care | Health (

There will be a Senior Center operated by the City of Fairfax located at the new facility.

How will the confidentiality and privacy of patients be kept separate from public gathering spaces in the health center?

Client’s privacy is and will always remain the Health Center’s utmost priority. Private conversations will not take place in public gathering spaces. The Health Center will continue to ensure that the clients’ information is confidential through use of conversation in private rooms and or sound proofed dividers.

Is the health center being torn down or just renovated?

The Health Center will be completely demolished and a new Health and Community Center incorporating the County and City of Fairfax’s health, wellness, fitness, recreation, arts and children’s programs will be constructed in its place.

Where do patients of the health center go during construction? Could programs from the health center be held at Green Acres during construction?

The Health Center programs will be relocated at selected temporary facility / facilities during the construction of the new center. The temporary facilities will provide same level of services as the existing center and the patients will be informed of the new arrangements in advance. The programs from the Health Center will not be held at the Green Acres site during construction.

Will all the Willard Health Center functions be at this site, or are some moving to another site?

All current programs and services at Willard Health Center are anticipated to continue being provided at the new facility. New programs such as a Tuberculosis Clinic and Early Childhood Education will also be included in the new facility.

Are there or will there be senior programs at the health center?

A Senior Center will be included in the new facility and will be operated by the City of Fairfax.

Will COVID change the way services are delivered in the new facility?

For managing a communicable disease investigation, Health Department will be in contact with individuals who are diagnosed or individuals who are a contact to someone who is diagnosed with a communicable disease. They will be provided with instructions i.e., need to wear a mask, and wait to be called into the facility for evaluation. If the client with communicable disease symptoms is coming to the clinic for testing, they are to wear a mask, contact front desk from their car when they arrive, and then wait until the nurse is ready for them. The nurse would meet them at the door and escort them to the clinic room.

The Health Department is working with the architectural and engineering design teams to address some of the physical limitations of the existing building to efficiently provide services in the new facility and enhance client safety and experience.

What services will be offered at the Health Center? What is the eligibility requirement for each program?

The table below lists all the services that will be offered in the new Health Center along with the program users and eligibility requirements.

(3750 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA 22030)

List of County Health Programs and Eligibility Requirements

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