Changes coming to Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton

Changes coming to Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton

Creative reuse of current vacant structures and new Ox Road streetscape on the way.

Leon Scioscia, President and CEO Workhouse Arts Center Foundation

Leon Scioscia, President and CEO Workhouse Arts Center Foundation

Taking additional actions to develop a lively campus, The Workhouse Arts Foundation, which operates the Workhouse Arts Center, has been collaborating with Fairfax County on the renovation of two prominently visible, long time unoccupied buildings. The two buildings; W13 and W15, front the busy Ox Road (Route 123). 

“Fairfax County’s commitment to renovate these two buildings means so much to the Workhouse Arts Center,” said Leon Scioscia, President and CEO, Workhouse Arts Center Foundation. “Once the initial renovation is completed, then possible future tenants, such as a restaurant, or a brewery, or a coffee shop, can finish the renovation for their own particular needs.” 

“Having these retail establishments located on our campus will allow our [visitors] to have dining options available to them without having to leave campus.”

The Workhouse campus buildings’ makeovers will also include Ox Road streetscape overhaul and creation of a public plaza in between the two buildings, according to Sharon North, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. The work is scheduled to begin in early 2022. The initial work is likely to include the interior building renovations followed by the exterior and landscaping work toward the fall 2022.

After renovation, the buildings can accommodate food and beverage tenants who will provide the tenant fit-out for their specific use. The plaza area between the two buildings will be equipped with outdoor dining areas including an activity boardwalk connecting the two buildings. The plaza will be constructed with an area for storm-water management. Total project cost is estimated at $6.3 million and funded by the county.

The Workhouse campus is a historically significant County-owned property, previously owned by the federal government and operated by the District of Columbia as the Lorton Reformatory. Fairfax County acquired the 2,440-acre property which is on the National Historic Registry. The Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc., has a license and lease agreement with the Fairfax County Government to operate the on-campus renovated buildings in an arts center capacity. 

“The Workhouse Arts Foundation is so pleased to have such a great partner in Fairfax County – helping us realize the initial dream of the Workhouse Arts Center serving as a cultural anchor for South Fairfax County.” said Scioscia.

Where and when: Workhouse Arts Center, 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA 22079. 703-584-2900. For information about Workhouse Arts Center’s artists who work and display their art here and its performing arts, visual arts, arts education, and history programming, visit www,