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South County Center Wins Two Design Awards

Fairfax County's South County Center, located at 8350 Richmond Highway in Mount Vernon, has been tabbed for a national design award and a regional appearance award.

The South County Center was given the 2002 Award of Merit in the Best Building, Build to Suit, 150,000 Square Feet and Above category by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), a national association with more than 10,000 members and 48 chapters that represent the interests of developers and owners of industrial, office and related commercial real estate throughout North America.

"The judges commented that the building on the Route One corridor is a good basic urban design solution for strip redevelopment," said Tom Bisacquino, president of National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, adding "The brick and cast concrete deviates from the traditional governmental functionality and sets a new standard for the buildings on Route One."

The Award of Merit for the South County Government Center was submitted by Harvey-Cleary Engineers and Builders. Team members included Davis Carter Scott; ECS; Fernandez & Associates; GHT Limited; MDP Buckman; Reliable Engineering Services and VIKA Inc.

THE SOUTH COUNTY CENTER also received the 2002 Community Appearance Award from the Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia. That honor was presented Dec. 12, at a reception and awards ceremony at the Northern Virginia Regional Commission in Annandale.

"The Community Appearance Alliance of Northern Virginia sponsors its annual awards program to recognize worthy design and construction projects, collaborative efforts and community association initiatives that enhance the aesthetic environment of our region," said Alliance President Rosemary C. Byrne.

"Your project is a fine example of such an effort. This project is visually attractive and a great addition to the Richmond Highway community," Byrne said.

The South County Center project began with Board of Supervisor approval in January 2000. Groundbreaking occurred in November 2000, and construction was substantially completed on Feb. 2, 2002. The building became fully operational and open to the public on May 1 of this year and houses some 340 county staff in 24 county agencies serving approximately 1,000 citizen visitors per day — twice the number of citizens than anticipated when the building was proposed. This $29 million public/private partnership project also came in several months ahead of schedule and under budget.

"The community has had a wonderful response to the South County Center," said Ken Disselkoen, Regional Manager for Human Services Region One and team member of the building committee. "The concept was to co-locate some county programs to spur staff creativity and collaboration and that has become reality.

"It is also a very functional building," Disselkoen added. "The conference center has been used extensively by area residents, with some 1,800 citizens per month using the conference center."

The South County Center features precast concrete, brick and glass in a straightforward, simple manner, designed to be non-inhibiting to area citizens accessing county services.