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Farmhouse Facelift

Once an 1800s era farmhouse belonging to the Coffer Family, The Woods community center in Burke will be enlarged once again in a renovation that is now being planned by the Burke Conservancy.

Drawings were sketched out and a model was made so that residents in the Woods community of Burke Centre could get a chance to see the addition before the hammers and saws are put to work.

"It's an old farmhouse," said Conservancy executive director Tom Wade. "Parts of it date back to the 1880s."

Sue and Steve Turchan have lived in The Woods community for 24 years. They are original owners and are glad to see something done so that the farmhouse can be used in a more productive way. Sue Turchan was hoping for aerobic classes in the addition.

"That was a really old house," she said. "Before we owned the Lynch property where the Conservancy is now, that was the old Conservancy."

Woods resident Andrew Fanning was aware of the plan.

"It's been in the plan for a long time. I don't think anybody is opposed," he said.

Wade acknowledged that the farmhouse was home to the Conservancy offices, and that's one reason why the property is being renovated. Inside, the house is still sectioned off into office spaces.

"It's making the space more usable," said Wade, of the renovation.

In the Virginia Room at the Fairfax County Library in the City of Fairfax, the house was traced under its previous name, Locust Hill, circa 1800. Research confirmed that it was the Coffer's farmhouse, and an addition was constructed in the 1940s.

In addition to gutting the inside and modernizing the house, a two-story addition will go right up to where the hill drops off near the pool area. When the Conservancy finalizes the plans for the siding and roof color scheme, the pool house will be made to match that.

"We're just putting this out to the community," Wade said.

The other four community centers in the various neighborhoods of Burke Centre were built at the same time as Burke Centre. They are similar to each other. The Woods center is the only one in an old farmhouse. No plans are in place to renovate them, but Wade said that they are constantly being improved with such things as new windows and doors.