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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Construction of Bailey's Upper play areas won't happen until 2016 at the earliest

The site plan for Bailey's Upper Elementary School, showing the proposed gym (red), outdoor play space (green), and sports court (blue). Leesburg Pike is along the bottom edge.

The gym and play area planned for Bailey’s Upper Elementary School probably won’t be built until 2016 or beyond.

Brady Rauch, of the design and construction department in Fairfax County Public Schools, told the Mason District Land Use Committee Jan. 27 that construction of the outdoor hard-surface sports court and green creative play area have to be built during the summer.

Those areas are in the middle of the oval-shaped bus drop-off route, so the construction can’t take place when students are in school. At this point, it’s highly unlikely that all the county approvals and permits could be finalized to allow construction this summer. The FairfaxCounty Planning Commission hasn’t scheduled a public hearing yet.

The 6,200-square foot prefab gym would have to be installed during winter break. FCPS is shooting for December 2016, but that could be delayed by a year, as well.

The gym would be located on the western side of the school building along the service road aligned with Leesburg Pike and would be connected to the school with a covered walkway. It would be the same size as other FCPS elementary school gyms and would have an office, vestibule, bathrooms, and showers. The 5,000-square foot asphalt court would be half the size as similar courts at other schools.

FCPS staff have discussed the plans for the gym and play area with the Bailey’s PTA and residents of Buffalo Ridge, Sleepy Hollow Manor, and other adjacent neighbors. PTA President Gwen Chervenic said the Bailey’s community likes the plans and would like to see construction start as soon as possible.


  1. One of the key arguments when this project first came up was adequate play space for the student. The community was assured that the permits and planning for outdoor play space would begin immediately so that construction could begin this summer. We were fooled again...

  2. Yup. Promises, promises. Our children don't deserve this. And to know that none of this inconvenience needed to happen is galling. Two good alternative choices nixed by Supervisor Gross; Either a partnership with Wilson Library adjacent to new classrooms and/or the return of Willston campus would have solved the crowded classroom issue AND provided recreational space.


    2. I love that reply! Keep them coming. I think that should be used during the next elections.

  3. As the parent of a child currently attending Bailey's Upper Elementary School, I have to say that while the lack of outdoor play space is a concern, I much prefer the current school setting to the trailers. Overall, I think the kids are much better off in the new building without a playground than in the trailers with an overcrowded playground. Keep in mind that there are exercise rooms throughout the building in the new space so they do have places to run and play, just not outdoors. Also, they've set up a covered blacktop so the kids do get outside (when the temperatures cooperate) so they do have an opportunity to get some fresh air. And from what I understand, there's still a possibility that the permits will be processed in time for 2015 construction.

  4. No doubt being taught in a nice new building, even without adequate recreational facilities, is better than attending school in a trailer. The real question that needs to be answered is why these options became the only choices. Saying we had to act quickly means there was no planning or in the alternative planning efforts were thwarted. What really happened? Continued access to good public education is critical to the life long success of all Mason District kids.