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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bailey's community selects a name for the new building

Demolition has started on the new Bailey's school building.

Students, parents, and community members have selected a name for the new annex of Bailey’s Elementary School in a former office building in Seven Corners: Bailey’s Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences.

The final voting took place at a community meeting at the school last night involving the top three choices selected by Bailey’s students last week, three names selected by the PTA based on recommendations from parents, and two additional names proposed by community members.

Stickers are used for voting.
There was strong support for naming the building after Thurgood Marshall, who argued the Brown v. Board of Education case before the U.S. Supreme Court, leading to the integration of public schools. Marshall later became the first African American Supreme Court Justice. He was a longtime resident of Lake Barcroft, and his widow still lives there.

But in the final round of voting, it came down to two choices. Bailey’s Upper Elementary School got 38 votes and Marshall got 25.

School board member Sandy Evans (Mason) said the school board will consider the name as an action item at its meeting March 20, and members of the public will have a chance to speak about the name at that time. The Board will vote on it April 20.

The new school, at 6245 Leesburg Pike, will be the first urban-style, vertical school building in Fairfax County. It will serve students in grades 3-5 to relieve severe overcrowding at Bailey’s. The school is set to open for students this coming September.

At the meeting last night, each eligible household was given one vote in each round. To be eligible, households had to have a Bailey’s student or live on a specific street near the school.  

The voting by students had yielded three top choices: Bailey’s Elementary Rock Stars School, Bailey’s Tigers Elementary School, and Bailey’s Rising Tigers Elementary School. One of the students’ choices that didn’t make the cut was Cat in the Hat School.

Fairfax County firefighters conduct a training exercise in the building's parking lot.
The top three names put forth by the PTA were Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, Bailey’s Elementary School—West Campus, and Bailey’s Corners Elementary School.

“Bailey’s” had to be a part of the name, and the group last night also agreed that all the names had to include “Elementary School for the Arts and Science,” like the original school’s name.

During the meeting, representatives of community associations were given an opportunity to propose additional names. Lake Barcroft proposed Bailey’s Elementary School—Thurgood Marshall Campus.  

The Sleepy Hollow Manor and Buffalo Hills communities suggested Bailey’s Fort Buffalo Elementary School in recognition of the role of nearby Fort Buffalo during the Civil War. There’s a historic marker about the fort on Sleepy Hollow Road by the firehouse.

In the first round of voting, each household used stickers to indicate their first, second, and third choices on posters taped to the wall. A first-choice sticker was worth three points, a second-place sticker two, and a third-place sticker was one point.

The sign in front of the school will need updating.
Thurgood Marshall got the most points, 90, in the first round but the procedure called for another round of voting involving the top three names. In the second round, Marshall got 103 points, followed by Rising Tigers with 101, and Upper with 99.

Because the vote was so close, there was a third round involving those three names with each household voting for just one name. The result was 29 votes for Upper, 23 for Marshall, and 7 for Rising Tigers.

Cluster III Assistant Superintendent Doug Tyson suggested a fourth round with the top two vote-getters, and the audience agreed. The final result was 38 votes for Upper and 25 for Marshall. A Lake Barcroft resident suggested a name combining Marshall and Upper, but was told that no consolidation of names was allowed after the final vote.


  1. It's really a shame that the community didn't get the information about who could come to the meeting and vote until Tuesday night after 10 pm. I requested the info the prior Thursday night (late). Even then it wasn't the School Board pushing info to the community to get their participation; it was me requesting the info so I could share with the community.

  2. One more comment - I don't know how we ended up with more people (63) voting on the 4th (final) round than we had in the 3rd round (59).

  3. I think it is a sad day when we have our kids in a school with no real gym and no playground. We had other choices and our BOS would not consider it.

  4. The Fairfax County School Board officially adopted the name Bailey's Upper Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences, FCPS announced April 11.