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Thursday, April 27, 2017

New gym completed at Bailey's Elementary School

The new gym at Bailey's Upper.

Bailey’s Upper Elementary School now has a 5,000-square-foot gymnasium plus an outdoor playground and ball field. The new gym was officially opened April 26 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Bailey's patrols gather for the ribbon-cutting. In the foreground, left to right: Principal Marie Lemmon, School Board Chair Sandy Evans, Mason Supervisor Penny Gross, and Executive Principal for Region 2 Jay Pearson.
Students had been given a chance to vote on the gym’s interior colors – they selected blueberry and mango – and had a say in the playground design, said Bailey’s Principal Marie Lemmon.

The Bailey's dance team performs in the new gym.
The school, on Leesburg Pike in Seven Corners, opened in 2014 in a converted office building. Since then, it’s been viewed as a model for an urban design school, said School Board Chair Sandy Evans (Mason), who noted it has attracted educators from nearby jurisdictions and across the nation who are considering replicating the model.

The new outdoor recreation area.
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross called Bailey’s “a wonderful, wonderful school and also a wonderful example of taking something old and making it really spectacular.”

Bailey’s Upper serves grades 3-5, while the lower grades remain in the original Bailey’s school building. The school board for years had trouble finding land for a new school to relieve severe overcrowding at Bailey’s, so when the office building became available, the board agreed to move fast to purchase and renovate it. The BoS approved the project in June 2014.

School Board Chair Sandy Evans.
The building has indoor play space but there wasn’t enough room for a full-scale gym, so the board promised to add a gym later.

The gym project cost $2.9 million, which also includes a 10,000-square-foot outdoor play area and playground and a new bus loop.

The new addition, as seen from Leesburg Pike.


  1. For once, I have to agree with Penny. This school looks great. The school board got a great deal on this building, converted it in record time and answered those critics who were carping about the initial lack of exercise space for the kids. Now, let the inevitable litany of gripes begin.

    1. This building and gym are nothing but embarrassing monuments to Fairfax County’s lax policies when it comes to code enforcement, and a testament to the complete stagnation of development in Bailey’s Crossroads.

      Bailey’s elementary has been a problem since the 1980s. Something, SOMETHING should have changed by now. The aging apartments in Culmore have just gotten even more aged and stuffed with even more families.

      Gross, gross, gross. I cringe when I pass the building and am reminded that there was an elementary school with 1600 students that was so overcrowded that it needed to be split into two schools.

  2. I agree that the school has turned out well, but I give a bulk of credit to those who pushed and pushed to get these improvements installed, including members of my citizens association. They were not satisified when FCPS said "we can achieve physical education using alternative and modified means." They demanded a gym be built and kept the pressure on to see it to fruition. The county and FCPS have now come through, but I feel for the kids that for the past number of years dealt either with an insanely overcrowded baileys, or then got upper baileys that had no play or PE space. I don't want to dwell on that too much because the end result has arrived and it is a good result, but I will always hope that we can do better in the future so as to not repeat the hellish process that this was.

    1. Thanks for all your hard work on behalf of those students!

    2. It is a huge positive to finally finish the school and provide a well-rounded quality environment for the children.

      However, I continue to be highly concerned about the disregard for practical approaches to development in Seven Corners and Bailey's Crossroads. Jeff's explanation is a case in point of how hard constituents have to work to get anything close to the right thing done.

      Upper Bailey's is a case in point. Sup. Gross refused to consider a well-developed FCPS plan to expand (Lower) Bailey's Elementary through a partnership with the Woodrow Wilson Library. The playground was in place, no extra admin team, no second principal required. Instead Gross ignored county policy and created a new school in a busy commercial area replete with its own principal and admin team AND now pays big bucks duplicating staff costs and busing children to school whereas they could have continued to walk had the school been sited in conjunction with the library.

      Gross is poised to build more government offices at the Willston School location in Seven Corners and in the Bailey's business sector at the Southeast Quadrant across from Trader Joe's.

      She shows no remorse in her 20-year quest to do and spend as she pleases in defiance of her constituents.

    3. You NIMBY complainers are relentless. This is a great looking school and a good repurpose of an office building............shut up.

    4. Penny it is no need to get upset why don't you just retire. Move to California they would love to have you.