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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Some progress made on fixing up Falls Church HS

Since the Falls Church High School community began actively pressing the Fairfax County school board to renovate its aging facilities, there has been some progress, reports Lynn Petrazzuolo, founder of UPROAR (United Parents for Renovating Our Academic Resource).

The school is still in dire need of a major overhaul and is still so far down on the FCPS list for school projects that it’s not scheduled for renovation until 2024. But Petrazzuolo says, “after speaking to the school board about the conditions of the school, we have seen a lot of response,” including the following.
  • Dean Tistadt, chief operating officer of the FCPS Department of Facilities and Transportation Services, assigned a staff person to come to FCHS and review the status of all outstanding work orders and assess additional needs.
  • The restrooms on the main hall were spruced up with new ceilings and new paint, and the heat registers were sanded and refinished in several restrooms.
  • The weight room has been repainted
  • The school will be getting new auditorium seats this summer. FCHS currently has the only wooden seats left in the county. The auditorium will be reconfigured to accommodate students with physical disabilities.
  • Interior and exterior doors are being adjusted to be more accessible for students in wheel chairs, and more bathrooms are being made accessible for students in wheelchairs.
  • On Jan. 31, the plumbing staff checked every fixture in every bathroom to ensure they were working correctly, including snaking any clogged drains.
  • Water fountains have been fixed, and two that require obsolete parts will be replaced.
  • Broken tiles are being replaced.
  • Some of the classroom doors will be stripped and revarnished.
  • Window blinds in all rooms have been checked and repaired or replaced if needed.
  • Kevin Snead of the Facilities Office and other FCPS staff toured the school to review the renovation assessment from 2008, which was found to be incorrectly completed during that renovation cycle.
 In addition, Petrazzuolo notes, the school administration is creating a list of priorities for continued improvement (before the renovation). Possible items include renovating the restrooms, library, locker rooms, training room, auditorium, concession stand, scoreboard, and marquee.

While all these actions are hopeful signs, the FCHS community is continuing its efforts to get the school moved up on the renovation queue.  

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