The Arlington School Board approved its FY 2019-28 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) at last night’s meeting, as part of a comprehensive plan to address growth in APS student enrollment. The projects in the 10-year CIP total $631.46 million and include $411.63 million in requested bond funding.
The Board’s adopted CIP includes construction, renovation and infrastructure projects. Capacity-bearing projects in the 10-year CIP horizon include opening a new elementary school at the Reed site, adding capacity to Arlington Tech at the Career Center, followed by an addition to the Career Center, and adding new seats in the renovated Education Center. There are also funds for another elementary school (2029) and additional middle school seats (2030) that would be ready after the fall of 2027. The CIP also includes funds to maintain and upgrade existing facilities.
“We have a good plan that will address our continued growth, but the hard work is only beginning,” said School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen. “In addition to renovating and building the new schools described in this plan, we will be working every day to develop new programs, processes, and policies to ensure that every student has access to, and is able to take advantage of, the many high-quality academic and enrichment opportunities that APS provides in all grades, PreK through 12.”
APS PreK-12 enrollment has grown steadily in recent years and reached 27,005 in October, an all-time high. Over the next decade, elementary student enrollment is projected to increase by about 1,900 students or 13%. At the middle school level, enrollment will likely grow by approximately 1,200 students or 22%, and at the high school level, enrollment is expected to increase by about 2,500 students or 37%.
Projects to Be Built with 2018 Bond Funds
The projects in the CIP address rising enrollment and do not exceed the 10% debt service ratio. The list below identifies projects that will be included in the November 2018 bond referendum. All dollar figures are in millions of dollars and represent 2018 bond funding associated with each project.
- Reed (725 elementary school seats), $44.25 million
- Career Center/Arlington Tech (250 high school seats), $6.0 million
- Planning and design funds for field, parking garage, and 800 high school seats at the Career Center, including core classrooms, labs (art and science), expanded cafeteria, library/media center, multi‐purpose gymnasium/assembly space, performing arts facility comprising theater with stage, lighting, green room, music and dance studios and black box theater, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) specialty shops, $5.9 million
- Education Center (600 high school seats), $32.25 million
- Major Infrastructure Projects (MC/MM), $14.60 million
The CIP will be re-evaluated in 2020 when the completed Career Center planning and design will better define the funding needed in the 2020 bond referendum.
Timeline for High School Planning
In August, the Career Center Working Group will make its recommendations to the School Board and the County Board. During the 2018-19 school year APS will define the instructional vision for PreK-12 by: articulating multiple pathways for student success, building from the 2018-24 Strategic Plan and the Virginia Profile of a Graduate; using the vision to plan for continued enrollment growth, new schools and programs (including the Education Center & Career Center).
Next Steps and More Information
The School Board’s adopted CIP will now 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.