The redevelopment of Seven Corners, as proposed by the SevenCorners Land Use and Transportation Task Force, would require the construction of a new elementary school, confirms Jeffrey Platenberg, Fairfax County Public Schools assistant superintendent for facilities and Transportation Services, in a June 23 memo.
The task force plan calls for 6,000 new residential units throughout the Seven Corners Planning Area. A project already in the planning stages for the Sears site on Leesburg Pike would have about 800 units.
School overcrowding issues, along with traffic concerns, is expected to be a major issue of concern at a meeting of the Seven Corners Task Force tonight open for public comment. The meeting is at the Mason District Government Center, 7 p.m.
A review by FCPS facilities planning coordinator Ajay Rawat in April projects that by 2018-19, Stuart will be over capacity by 520 students, Glasgow by 278, and Sleepy Hollow by 24 students. Glen Forest Elementary School, which is already 122 students over capacity will be 323 students over capacity by 2018-19.
Severe overcrowding at Bailey’s Elementary School is being relieved by the new Bailey’s Upper Elementary School, which is serving grades 3-5, leaving grades K-2 in the original Bailey’s ES. Platenberg’s memo doesn’t mention Bailey’s Upper Elementary, although it’s next door to the Sears site.
“FCPS is currently working with the county to evaluate the impact of the planned residential development on the school system and provide recommendations regarding school facilities,” Platenberg states. “Preliminarily, FCPS anticipates the need for a new elementary school, additions to existing schools, and possible programming changes to accommodate the anticipated growth.”
When a residential development proposal is initiated for rezoning, FCPS would carry out additional analyses and make recommendations on school facilities, Platenberg continues. “FCPS, with the support of the county, will look to developers for contributions to mitigate the impacts of their development,” he says. “Such contributions may include land dedication for future school facilities and/or proffer fund contributions to be used in the construction/capacity enhancements of school facilities.”
According to Rawat’s analysis, if the Seven Corners revitalization area were rezoned and redeveloped to the full potential as proposed by the task force, there would be about 538 additional students.
That number is based on the countywide student yield ratio, which Rawat acknowledges underestimates the number of students residing in aging multifamily communities. As multifamily communities age and housing becomes more affordable, the population of school-age children tends to rise.
Looking at the county’s yield ratio, “developers may see that their proposals are not generating an increase in student yields,” Rawat says. “However, FCPS believes that it is unknown how redevelopment will affect anticipated student yields over time and some proffer contributions should be made to offset the potential impact of development, especially in areas where the schools and other surrounding schools are over capacity or projected to be over capacity.”