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Arlington Career Center Project

Arlington Public Schools is excited to move forward on the construction of the new Arlington Career Center facility, which currently serves up to 1,400 students in 4 full-time programs and part-time Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs for students from high schools across the County. On May 9, 2024, the School Board approved the Construction Contract Award to begin construction of the facility, which is scheduled to open in Fall 2026 for the 2026-27 School Year.

This facility will provide additional seats to serve students, with a building capacity of over 1,600 seats to house an increased full-time capacity and dedicated spaces for 900 part-time Career and Technical Education (CTE) students (300, three times per day). The project will allow more students to benefit from the offerings at the Career Center and allow APS to further expand Arlington Tech and other high-demand programs. This will also allow APS to provide a state-of-the art facility with the latest technology and advanced hands-on learning spaces for students to gain skills in a variety of career pathways.

On May 16, the School Board held a groundbreaking to commemorate the start of construction at the future site of the Career Center and voted unanimously on the new name for the facility as Grace Hopper Center. The new facility name will take effect when the building opens in 2026-27.

The project is included in the Superintendent’s Proposed 2025-34 Capital Improvement Plan, which allocates funding for the construction of the new facility.

 BLPC Process Goals

The Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) process invites public feedback on the elements identified in the Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC) Principles of Civic Design. Adjustments that fit within the maximum total project cost and address the School Board’s Project Requirements for the Arlington Career Center were considered. The resulting plan was incorporated into the Superintendent’s Proposed FY 2023-32 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

This process will not address the long-term use of the Career Center Campus. Opportunities for comment on long-term use will occur within the process for review and adoption of the FY 2023-32 CIP and is outside the purview of the ACC Expansion Project BLPC.

 BLPC Committee Members

BLPC members represent various APS stakeholders and groups. They are responsible for communicating with and obtaining feedback from the stakeholder groups they represent. Members from the 2019 ACC BLPC were invited to continue representing their stakeholder groups and serving on the committee. Replacement members were appointed to the BLPC for the members who did not return. To facilitate collaboration between school and community stakeholders, joint meetings with the BLPC and PFRC will be planned to the greatest extent possible.

View the full list of BLPC Members appointed by the School Board. Information on the Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC) process and PFRC members is available on the Arlington Career Center PFRC webpage.

 Project Schedule

Construction Contract Award

On May 9, 2024, the School Board approved the Construction Contract Award. The contract is awarded to Whiting-Turner.

APS has safeguards and oversight processes in place for all major construction projects to ensure on-time completion and monitor safety, labor, and quality matters throughout the course of the project.  For future contracts, the Arlington School Board is currently working on a resolution to add prevailing wage provisions which will be adopted on July 18, 2024, and will take effect for all construction projects beginning after September 1, 2024.

APS has worked with the selected contractor, Whiting-Turner, previously on the construction of Alice West Fleet Elementary School and the renovation of the Syphax building. Those projects were completed on time, on budget and with no major issues.

Whiting-Turner has committed to the following additional safeguards for the ACC construction project:

  • Requiring certified payroll from all subcontractors on the project for conformance with Virginia Wage Laws applicable to the Arlington Career Center project.
  • Assigning salaried supervisory personnel devoted to ensuring the quality of the project through review of the contract documents and ensuring the completed work meets our expectations.
  • Providing a safe and secure environment for everyone involved with the Arlington Career Center project.

Pictures of the Proposed Arlington Career Center Instructional Spaces

The following pictures are illustrative of recently completed Career & Technical Education (CTE) instructional spaces; designed and constructed to meet current best practices. These will be similar to the planned spaces in the new Arlington Career Center (ACC) building.

For contrast, the following pictures are existing the Career & Technical Education (CTE) instructional spaces within the existing Arlington Career Center (ACC). Many instructional spaces have not received a comprehensive renovation since the building was originally constructed in 1974.

For additional information or questions on the Arlington Career Center Project, please email engage@apsva.us.