Laurel Hill Central Green to get long-awaited restrooms


The picnic pavilions and playground at Laurel Hill Central Green on a busy Sunday afternoon

Laurel Hill Central Green, an expansive green space in Lorton with picnic shelters and a playground, will get a long-awaited restroom facility by spring 2024, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA), which announced May 17 that construction would kick off this upcoming week.

The restrooms have long been a topic of discussion at meetings of the South County Federation (SCF), an organization that represents the interests of the residents of southeastern Fairfax County.

Back in December 2019, after learning that funds for the construction of the park did not include the originally planned restroom facilities, the SCF passed a resolution calling upon FCPA, in partnership with the Mount Vernon District Supervisor’s office, to build energy-efficient restrooms with funds obtained from the original FCPA bond premium funding or from other excess county funds. The resolution pointed out that the restrooms were “essential” due to the lack of adequate facilities close by.

Just over a year later, shortly after the Central Green opened to the public, another problem cropped up — the proposed restroom facility’s location, design and coloration.

“The initial design of the bathrooms … did not go [over] well with the Parks Committee or Land Use Committee,” said Dale Rumberger, former SCF president who now serves as co-chair of its Parks and Environmental Committee. “We asked [for] the design to be reviewed and altered.”

In mid-2021, with new design concepts in place, FCPA said it expected the restrooms to be ready by spring 2022; however, by the end of the year, they announced a delay, with construction unlikely to start until spring 2023. Questions arose from SCF leaders about alleged shifts in funding and the negative impact on the project timeline.

In early 2023, the restroom construction project was bid, and all permits were issued, with a contract awarded to Bright Construction Group. The contractor will build the restroom facility, an accessible walkway and supporting infrastructure over the coming year.

Rumberger credited his SCF Parks Committee Co-Chair Larry Clark with helping stay on top of the project.

Laurel Hill Central Green is located at 8780 Lorton Road.

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