|Portable classrooms handle the overflow at Glen Forest Elementary School.|
The CIP calls for a total of $856 million – about $171 million annually for the next five years – for four new schools, additions, renovations, boundary changes, and more temporary classrooms and modular units – to address current and future increases in enrollment.
One of the new schools is proposed for the eastern part of Fairfax County, although it doesn’t specify a location. A proposed redevelopment project for Bailey’s Crossroads would include a new urban-style elementary school. There has also been some discussion about locating a new school on the site of the Willston Center in Seven Corners, although there is resistance among the Board of Supervisors for doing that.
According to the CIP, funds approved by voters in the 2103 school bond referendum and previously approved bonds provide approximately $220 million, leaving an unfunded balance of $636 million.
Between 2013 and 2014, Fairfax County schools have seen a net increase of 2,000 students. Since 2006, enrollment has increased by nearly 22,000, and FCPS projects continued growth over the next five years.
The school board will hold a public hearing on the FY 2016-20 CIP on Jan. 6, at 6 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church. The board has scheduled a work session for Jan. 12 and will vote on the CIP at its Jan. 22 business meeting.
Much of the growth in enrollment is occurring in the Annandale/Mason area. Glen Forest Elementary School in Bailey’s Crossroads is projected to be at 107 percent of capacity utilization next year and at 132 percent by the 2019-20 school year.
The CIP predicts Woodburn Elementary School to reach 130 percent of capacity and Weyanoke Elementary School to reach 115 percent in five years.
Meanwhile, four elementary schools in the Annandale/Mason area – Beech Tree, Belvedere, Camelot, and Ravensworth – are projected to be at or under 95 percent of capacity in 2019-20.
Among middle schools, Luther Jackson is projected to be 138 percent and Glasgow at 119 percent over capacity in 2019-20. Poe Middle School is projected to be at just 65 percent of capacity in 2014-15 and at 86 percent in 2019-20.
Annandale High School is also projected to be under capacity: 85 percent next year and 92 percent in 2019-20.
Potential solutions to overcrowding are presented in an attachment to the CIP, although many of them have distant timelines. The following is list of solutions for schools in the Annandale/Mason area with the estimated time frame in parentheses:
- Provide capacity relief at Glen Forest Elementary School by reassigning students to other schools in the Stuart pyramid (2017-19).
- Provide capacity relief for Glen Forest and other schools in the Stuart pyramid by building a new school in the eastern part of the county (2022-25).
- Provide capacity relief for Westlawn, Woodburn, and other elementary schools by reopening the Leis administrative center or the Graham Road community building (2020-24).
- Provide capacity relief for Glasgow Middle School by installing a modular addition (2018-20).
- Provide capacity relief for Belvedere and Canterbury Woods elementary schools by establishing a new Advanced Academic Program (AAP) center in the Annandale pyramid at Annandale Terrace or Braddock elementary schools (2019-21).
- Provide capacity relief at Glasgow and Frost middle schools and keep Annandale High School pyramid cohorts together by creating a new AAP center at Poe Middle School and reassigning Annandale High School pyramid students from Glasgow and Frost to the new APP center at Poe (2017-19).
- Provide capacity relief for Stuart High School by applying for a zoning variance to construct an addition (2020-22).
- Provide capacity relief for Woodson High School by installing a modular addition (2020-21).
- Provide capacity relief for Luther Jackson Middle School and keep cohorts together by reassigning a portion of Jackson students who will eventually attend Oakton High School to Thoreau Middle School (2017-18).