Public Works and Environmental Services

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12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 449 Fairfax, VA 22035
Carey Needham
Director, Capital Facilities

Willard-Sherwood Health and Community Center FAQs

Policy Questions

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. Phase II full Design and Construction Agreement was approved in December, 2022.

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.

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

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.

Yes, the new center is estimated to include approximately 100,000 square feet of new construction and serve residents in both the City and the County.

The existing Joseph Willard Center will be demolished and a new approximately 100,000 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.

The community was invited to provide input on a variety of aspects of the project in 2022 and 2023. These aspects include campus landscape features, architectural features, accessibility, recreational amenities and programs, and common area design and features.

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.

Concept design began in the fall 2021 and a final conceptual design option was selected by the County and City Leadership in April, 2023. It is anticipated that a more final design will be completed by the end of 2023, and applications would be filed for land use approvals at that time. Should those approvals be obtained in 2024, permitting would be complete in the first half of 2025 and finalization of Guaranteed Maximum Price for construction would occur in mid 2025. Construction is anticipated to begin in the second half of 2025 and be completed by the end of calendar year 2027.

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.

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 (2025-2027) 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Traffic/Parking Safety

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.


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

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.

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.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Yes, the current arts programs will remain in existing 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.


Yes, there will be spaces for exercise and pickleball.

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.

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

Yes, the gym will be dividable.

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

Yes, meeting rooms will be available.

Flexible Maker Space is currently not planned for the facility.

A technology center is not planned for 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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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