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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Wakefield Forest Elementary to be expanded and redesigned

Wakefield Forest Elementary School

Wakefield Forest Elementary School, in western Annandale, is getting a total makeover. Fairfax County Public Schools plans to expand and totally redesign the school, which was built for 500 students but now has 700. After the renovation is completed, the school will have capacity for 800.

The project will add about 37,000 square feet to the 60,000-square-foot school.

Principal Sharyn Prindle, FCPS architect Rebecca Bostick, school board member Megan McLaughlin (Braddock), and other FCPS officials spoke about the project at a community meeting last week. 

There will be a large two-story addition – housing the library and classrooms – on the site of the playground. A new playground and paved play area will be built where the modular units are currently located. 

Among other improvements: A vestibule will be added at the front of the school, the music suite will be enlarged. There will be a dedicated room for the PTA. Except for the sixth grade, all classrooms within a grade will be co-located. 

When done, it will be a brand-new building. All the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire alarm, and security systems will be replaced. A sprinkler system will be added. There will be all new floors, ceilings, paint, and lights. The cafeteria will be expanded and will have all-new kitchen equipment. 

The designers are still trying to work on a traffic flow system to separate buses and cars. They are also working on a phasing plan so students will be safe during construction. 

FCPS plans to apply for building permits in spring 2021. Construction is expected to start in spring 2022. The project should be completed in spring 2024. The construction cost, about $30 million, would be included in a school bond on the November 2021 ballot. 

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