ACC BLPC Schematic Design FAQs

ACC Site and Landscape | ACC Building Design | On-Site Parking Plan | Multimodal Transportation Assessment | Other BLPC Member Questions

Site and Landscape:

Q: What kind of resources does APS have to maintain terraces and other landscaping?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: Bio ponds and other stormwater infrastructure are maintained by an outside service contractor who specializes in maintaining stormwater infrastructure.  The balance of the site is maintained by the custodial staff with occasional support by the APS Grounds Crew after a specified maintenance period by the firm that planted the landscaping material and trees expires.

Q: Will playgrounds be constructed by the new MPSA? If we are building a new playground for the existing Montessori, can it stay for community building instead of being ripped out?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: The new playgrounds around the existing MPSA building are required to be installed prior to the start of construction on the new ACC structure in order to maintain the program.  The new equipment is intended to be installed in such a way that it could be relocated to the new MPSA location and the entire site of the existing MPSA site will be redeveloped as determined at that time.

Q: What is the purpose of field 3 (the central, square playfield)?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: The area shown as Field 3 is designed for outdoor Physical Education (PE) space.  The County Department of Parks and Recreation has noted that it will be used for youth programs during off hours and is available for community use when not scheduled. 

Q: Why do we have Synthetic turf? What type of artificial turf is this going to be?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: APS school fields are used to support the instructional program.   Natural grass fields are impacted by the weather and damaged if used when they are wet.  Synthetic turf fields can be used continuously. The type has not been determined other than it will be permeable.

Q: Can the utilities be undergrounded?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: Generally, APS prefers to underground utilities when it is not cost prohibitive. Utility undergrounding will be determined by the time the County issues the Use Permit when there can be discussion about this shared responsibility. APS will also need to consider the timing of future work on the site to avoid replicating work.

Q: Will native species be planted onsite?  (posted 7/20/22)

A: Yes.  Detailed landscaping plans are determined in a future phase and are generally included in the Use Permit conditions. The landscape designer will work in conjunction with the County Arborist.

Q: Will there be ongoing space for student street art? Will the street art be on Walter Reed Drive or in the common space plaza? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Currently, we are not planning to paint any streets on or off the campus. Student art such as sculptures or other works would be able to be displayed on the campus terraces or plazas.

Q: How will APS discourage cars from cutting through the site? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Changing the behavior of drivers at the Arlington Career Center site will require a combination of signage, education, and enforcement.

Q: Is there adequate hard surface space for athletic fields considering attendees? Is APS planning additional amenities such as water bottle refill stations? (posted 7/20/22)

A: The field is being planned for physical education and will be provided with appropriate run off and gathering space. Amenities such as water bottle refill stations are a possibility but are not yet detailed.

Q: Please clarify all the bus exit routes on the site plan. (posted 7/20/22)

A: School buses eastbound from the plaza will exit on to Walter Reed Drive turning right. School buses westbound on the plaza or serving MPSA will exit on to Highland Street and turn right or left depending on their destination.


ACC Building Design:

Q: Is there any other goal with the terraces/courtyards beyond aesthetic and greenery?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: The terraces will provide alternative secure space for students to gather or work individually during the school day, some spaces will also be developed to support teaching and learning where appropriate and possible.

Q: Please provide more information about targets for CO2 emissions and how they fit in Arlington’s goals around how our buildings impact climate change. When will this information be available?   (posted 8/11/22)

A: These goals will be established in the During the Construction Document Phase for Board consideration as we get into the details of what is possible and the cost of options.

Q: When will we be able to see the interior arrangements/classroom arrangements? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Program locations and adjacencies will not be finalized until the School Board votes on the schematic design building options in the Fall. A draft of program locations in the building will likely be shared toward the end of the schematic design process, but it will be subject to change. Requirements for individual classrooms, including storage, were developed at the beginning of the design phase in collaboration with the Office of Academics. Spaces specific to the ACC were then reviewed with faculty and staff, and adjustments were made to the plans.

Q: Can some of the terraces be accessible to the public? (posted 7/20/22)

A: The terraces will be available to the public for programs, but not casual use.

Q: Will the building have solar panels on the roof? Opportunities for planting? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Solar panels on the roof are a possibility. As part of the building process, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) strategy is defined in a later phase of the work. As referenced in the Principals of Civic Design, that work will continue on questions such as energy sustainability and will be addressed by professional staff after the schematic design. Areas for planting are possible. This has not been requested by the staff but will be provided if requested and can be maintained by the staff.


On-Site Parking Plan:

Q: Will there be security cameras in the garage?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: Yes, there will be security cameras in the garage.

Q: What does the biophilia themed screen mean? Is the “biophilic” design just an artistic, themed screen? Is it going to be something living on the wall? Or just a fake theme?   (posted 8/11/22)

A: While actual plants & water are ideal, designs with natural themes that mimic nature also bring benefits to a project.

Q: Will there be a roof over the parking garage? Should there be a roof? Could have photobiotic use on the roof.  Is there budget to enclose the upper level of the garage and give it a roof that could have other uses?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: No, plans for the garage are not budgeted to include a roof for alternative uses.

Q: Could parking be placed under the main building?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: At this point, the project is on course to be within the budget.  Underground parking would add significantly to the project scope and increase construction time and cost. The project budget does not have allowance for significant additions to the scope. Further, the plan is already potentially subject to volatility of the construction market, which could impact on currently assumed escalation rates.

Q: Will there be an elevator in the parking garage? (posted 8/11/22)

A: APS proposal includes 2 elevators in the garage

Q: Will there be enough ADA parking on the ground floor for staff AND visitors?  Will these spaces be assigned?  Will there be van-accessible spaces?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: There will be ADA parking spaces for staff and visitors as a proportion of the total number of spaces provided, including van-accessible spaces. Typically, such spaces are not assigned to individuals by APS. Please click here for more information on the MMTA Study.

Q: Will there be e-bike secure parking?  (posted 8/11/22)

A: Secure e-bike parking will be provided only for staff.

Q: Will the multipurpose field be completed before the parking garage? Specifically, how will phasing affect the parking for teachers who are operating in the school before the parking garage is built? Please clarify the phasing.  (posted 8/11/22)

A: The phasing plan is to:

    1. first build a new playground for MPSA, on Highland (?) away from the construction area, that will be used by MPSA during construction.
    2. Then the new ACC building will be built with construction equipment on the South Walter Reed Drive side of the building.
    3. The parking structure will be built, third. The current parking lot will remain in use until the parking structure is complete.
    4. Then, once the parking structure is ready for use, the center parking lot will be converted to a synthetic turf field for physical education.

 Q: What is the ADA connection to the parking garage?  (posted 7/20/22)

A: The entire site will be accessible via a path to serve ambulatory and non-ambulatory individuals. There will also be streetside accessible parking near building entrances. The final layout of the paths has not yet been fully developed.

Q: How will parking work for the library? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Visitor and staff parking will be provided in the garage, and time-restricted accessible and regular spaces are also planned on South Walter Reed Drive.

Q: Will electric vehicle (EV) parking be available in the garage? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Possibly, there have been legal issues preventing charging stations on school property on past projects.

Q: Why are fewer parking spaces being planned for the parking garage? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Four hundred spaces were previously noted as a placeholder until the Multimodal Transportation Assessment (MMTA) was completed. Based on the MMTA, APS is planning to have 360 parking spaces in the garage in conjunction with available on-street parking surrounding the ACC site. When the School Board approves the final schematic design, they will also make a decision on the number of parking spaces in the garage.

Q: What is the interim parking plan during construction on the site? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Parking will remain as it is for staff through the 2025-26 school year. Once the relocatables are removed, staff parking will move to the existing parking lot between the three buildings. Upon completion of the garage, staff will begin parking in the garage. Construction contractor activity will be from the South Walter Reed Drive side of the new building.


Multimodal Transportation Assessment (MMTA)

Q: Please provide additional details about pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) areas.  Where will parents, teachers or students make quick pick-ups and drop-offs during the day to bring in project materials, event supplies, or to go to doctor appointments? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Currently there are visitor spaces being planned in the garage and time-restricted spaces for PUDO adjacent to the buildings on the street. APS will try to provide multiple PUDO locations around the campus to reduce congestion at any specific point on the site. PUDO areas are still being developed and the PUDO spaces shown on 9th Street are one such location. Families typically find the one most convenient for them. All student transport provided by APS is planned to load and unload students on the plaza.

Q: Will there be a new curbside management plan after MPSA moves?  (posted 7/20/22)

A: Yes, as conditions will change with only two buildings on the site, adjustments will be made.  Staff will then be able to use lessons from the opening of the new ACC building.

Q: Where will bicycles and scooters be parked? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Bike racks will be distributed throughout the site and locations will be determined (and bike racks provided) at a later stage of planning.

Q: Why is Seventh Street unable to have unrestricted parking? (posted 7/20/22)

A: By offering time-restricted spaces along Seventh Street, traffic can keep moving around the building whether it’s for pick up, drop off or short-term visitors. This is especially important for this campus which houses so many different programs. Based on the MMTA study, there are plenty of unrestricted spaces available within a reasonable distance during the school day.

Q: Where will students park?  (posted 7/20/22)

A: Student parking is accounted for in available neighborhood parking spaces.

Q: Will there be facilities for cyclists to shower when they arrive for work or school at the site? (posted 7/20/22)

A: Yes, there will be shower facilities for staff and locker rooms are being provided in the building for students.

Other Questions:

Q: In light of the recent school tragedies, how can multiple entries (such as a proposed one for the CTE programs, e.g. animal grooming, beauty services) be reconciled with the current focus on secure entrances?  How will public access be controlled to a gymnasium and music space on upper floors?  (posted 7/20/22)

A: Final plans for security will be developed once the location and adjacencies of programs is established following the School Board direction in the Fall, but elevators and stairs will provide access to these spaces and security closures such as doors or gates will close off sections of the building to limit access. This is similar to how all other APS schools are made available to the public for use after school hours.   In this case there is planning for access to some CTE programs during the school day. All visitors to the building will be required to sign in and be cleared through the APS system before gaining access to any programs.

Use this link for a full listing of questions and responses from the June BLPC/PFRC meeting: June BLPC-PFRC Schematic Design Questions

Link to Questions and responses from the July BLPC/PFRC meeting: July meeting BLPC-PFRC FAQs