Explores Potential Scenarios to Plan for Future Career Center Expansion Before Final Vote on June 21
On June 12, the School Board held Work Session #5 to finalize discussions about the 2019-28 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The focus of this work session was a potential scenario that featured changes in projects and timing to open high school seats at the Career Center, a variation of the scenario discussed at the May 29 joint School Board/County Board work session.
This was the final work session in a multi-stage review process that has explored a wide range of options to plan for the high school experience, and the School Board’s last public meeting before voting on the CIP at the June 21 School Board meeting. Once the CIP is approved, it will then be considered for inclusion in the Arlington County’s CIP, which informs the funds needed for the bond referendum that voters consider in November 2018.
Each CIP scenario from the last three School Board work sessions has included opening a new elementary school at the Reed site in September 2021, increasing seats for Arlington Tech at the Career Center, and adding new seats in the renovated Education Center. This CIP will provide planning funds for the Career Center design using a timeframe that allows APS to incorporate the Career Center Working Group recommendations, which are due in August. APS will also plan for the instructional program, ensuring that it aligns with the 2018-24 Strategic Plan, profile of a graduate, and complements what is offered across APS high schools. The planning and design process will define the funds needed for the Career Center in the 2020 bond referendum.
The variations discussed at this session were to the amenities and opening dates at the Career Center. In comparison with the scenario discussed at the previous work session, this scenario would accelerate an at-grade field above a parking garage from 2026 to 2023, and delay 800 high school seats from 2024 to 2025. This would make a field available to students already on the site in 2023, and before adding 800 more students. In both scenarios considered, additions and renovation of the existing building would include the following:
- Core classrooms
- Labs (art and science)
- Expanded cafeteria
- Library/media center
- Multi-purpose gymnasium/assembly space
- Performing arts facility, including a theater with stage, lighting, green room, instrumental music studio, choir music studio and dance studio
- Black box theater
- Career, Tech and Adult Ed (CTE) specialty shops
At each work session, the School Board has considered options to make the best use of resources to complete capital projects in the timeframe in which these are needed. Capital projects are investments needed to build or expand schools and to improve the infrastructure of our schools, with funding provided by general obligation bonds issued by Arlington County once approved by a voter referendum every two years. Recent CIP work sessions have included discussion of an addition at an existing middle school and another new elementary school, projects that could be part of the next CIP.
The community can view the June 12 work session at www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/school-board-work-sessions-meetings/. For more information on the CIP, visit www.apsva.us/engage/cip_fy19-28/.