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School Feasibility Study – CIP Funding

[ 0 ] July 7, 2018 |

P.O. Box 2976

TO: APS and Arlington County Boards
CC: Mark Schwartz, County Manager
FM: Arthur Fox, Colleen Pickford, Shona Colglazier RE: School Feasibility Study, CIP Funding

June 21, 2018

The Arlington Ridge Civic Association is reaching out yet again to seek your proactive assistance to identify a concrete, long term solution to the capacity issues facing the schools in our community. We are doing so in the hopes of securing CIP funding for the feasibility study recommended by the South Arlington Working Group two years ago.

The school-age population in Arlington Ridge and our neighboring civic associations continues to grow, exacerbated by the increased density approved for construction by the County Board in the Crystal City and Pentagon City areas. The new apartment buildings on MetPark in Pentagon City send nearly 100 students to Oakridge Elementary School and more multi-family residential development in 22202 is coming online every year. Meanwhile, with the opening of the Reed School in 2021, elementary schools in North Arlington will have a surplus of elementary school seats. And while we expect to see some relief with new seats becoming available at the Drew Model School, given our unique geographic isolation, as well as the rate of new development in 22202, it is expected that this relief will be brief, and limited.

For the past two years our community has been waiting, not for a new school but rather just for a feasibility study to determine the ability to construct an additional elementary school in a mixed-use, multi-story building on the County-owned land on which the Aurora Hills Community Center currently sits. This was a recommendation of the South Arlington Working Group and despite its adoption by both the APS and County Boards in 2016, there is no sight of its funding in either of your 2018 proposed CIPs. The capacity crisis for our neighborhood elementary school is only going to get worse as Arlington continues to grow and 22202 becomes more densely built out. It is incumbent upon the County to aggressively pursue a long term solution to this capacity issue. It can and should follow through with its commitment to fund this feasibility study NOW.

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