main banner

Thursday, June 10, 2021

School bond referendum includes construction funds for Falls Church High School

A rendering of the bus loop in front of a renovated Falls Church High School. [Perkins Eastman]
Nine years after parents began pushing for the renovation of Falls Church High School, the Board of Supervisors authorized a bond referendum June 8 with $130 million in construction funds for the aging, obsolete school. 

The $360 million bond referendum will be presented to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot. 

Among other projects, the bond includes:

  • $4 million for planning and design for renovating Bren Mar Park Elementary School;
  • $30 million for construction at Wakefield Forest Elementary School; and
  • $13.5 million for site acquisition for a “future western high school.” 

Related story: Falls Church HS parents express frustration over lack of renovation funds

In 2012, members of the Falls Church High School community complained about unsafe science labs, poor ventilation, disgusting bathrooms, and inadequate wiring that precluded the use of up-to-date technology.

The school was far down on the FCPS “renovation queue” which meant it couldn’t be renovated until 2024 at the earliest. In 2014, the school board refused to move FCHS up on the renovation schedule.

Related story: Falls Church HS not scheduled for renovation until 2024

Planning funds for renovating Falls Church High School were covered by a school bond passed by voters in 2017. The project includes a new auxiliary gym and an expansion of the existing gym; new physical education rooms; and a new music suite, library, lecture hall, and science labs. The cafeteria will be expanded. Nursing and dental labs will be added to the academy wing. 

Construction is expected to start within the next few months, and the project could be completed in fall 2025.

2 comments:

  1. Warning to communities around Falls Church High School, students, and parents. Please carefully study now what is included in the renovation of Falls Church High School. Look for what is included and how FCPS Facilities proposes to get there. Please make sure FCPS Facilities isn't planning to cut corners because it's cheaper, faster, and easier. This is of course not easy because FCPS Facilities does not share that information with the public.

    That's what FCPS Facilities did with Justice H.S. FCPS Facilities only allocated 19 million for Justice H.S. expansion. In addition, Facilities should have gone through a Comprehensive Plan Amendment process to change the zoning from R-3 to a higher zoning number to allow at least for the 46,000 sq. ft. vertical expansion and probably more. Instead Facilities decided to do the short cut and count in the school's density 9 acres of Justice Park. Facilities assures residents that they are not actually taking or going to build on the park's 9 acres they are just pretending they are part of the school's bulk equation. The result is that the school doesn't have the amount of density it really needs to accommodate a parking garage and other expansion items probably needed. As a result of this voodoo economics, FCPS Facilities actually needs to take 2 acres of Justice Park parkland to build a student parking lot. This is backwards and bad management. Everyone pays for this incompetence in the end. Moral of the story is Falls Church communities need to watch FCPS Facilities closely with the $130 million Falls Church renovation!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice to see the Falls Church HS finally get renovate, they've needed it for a long time. Don't forget on Nov 2nd to vote and help!

    ReplyDelete