At last night’s meeting, the Arlington School Board adopted the FY 2017-26 Capital Improvement Plan. The committed and proposed projects in the 10-year CIP total $510.29 million and include $435.03 million in bond funding.
The approved plan focuses on providing seats for students in the areas of most critical need in light of the continued, sustained growth in student enrollment. To meet its Strategic Plan goal of providing optimal learning environments, and focusing on the areas of greatest need, the School Board decided that capital improvements for this CIP would focus primarily on high school seats followed by efforts to increase elementary seats while continuing to invest in maintenance of APS facilities.
The 2016 School Bond:
The 2016 School Bond will total $138.83 million and will include funds for the following:
- The New Middle School at the Stratford Site – $26.03 million
- The New Building at the Wilson Site - $78.40 million
- Arlington Career Center/Arlington Tech - $12 million
- Planning for Additional High School Seats (Location[s] TBD) - $10 million
- Infrastructure (HVAC, Roof, Etc.) - $12.4 million
In addition, the current CIP plans for future School Bonds in 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024 to fund more secondary seats (at location[s] to be determined through a community process); the expansion of the Reed site for more elementary seats; and development of other elementary seats (at location[s] to be determined through a community process).
The APS CIP Process is a Continuous Planning Process:
The School Board revises the APS CIP every two years. While each 10-year plan reflects the current needs as well as available funding and space, the CIP will continue to be revised every two years to reflect changing information and conditions.
The FY 2017-26 CIP is a revised 10-year plan that builds on the FY 2015-24 CIP Plan that the School Board adopted two years ago. A number of projects included in the CIP from two years ago have been changed or revised to reflect new information that has been reviewed and discussed as we have developed the new CIP. The FY 2017-26 CIP that the School Board adopted last night will be revised again in the 2017-18 school year. All future CIP plans will be updated to reflect changes in enrollment and plans to address the revised projections. We will also explore any changes in the financial landscape and any new space options as they continue to evolve and be refined.
Addressing High School Capacity Needs:
The School Board’s adopted FY 2017-26 CIP addresses most of the projected enrollment growth. Projection tables were revised to show the current existing capacity (excluding spaces in relocatables) along with the capacity that will be achieved with the new seats that are being added with the completed CIP projects at the end of the first five years, and then again at the end of the next five years.
- During the first five years (and by the 2020-21 school year), the adopted CIP will provide 1,500 new high school seats, or 102.94% of the total number of seats needed in 2020-21.
- In 10 years (by the 2025-26 school year), the CIP will provide 1,300 additional high school seats, or 100.25% of the total number of seats needed by 2025-26.
Staff noted that the high school seat numbers in the CIP are the minimum number that will be generated; more seats will most likely result from the various projects as final design work is completed.
Building a New Comprehensive High School:
School Board members noted that while they have been urged to include a new comprehensive high school in the CIP, it has not been included in the current CIP. While the Board is not excluding that option for future CIPs, since no available sites have been identified at this time that can accommodate a fourth new comprehensive high school, this CIP does not include plans for that option. If a site is identified in the future, however, future CIP processes will review that option to determine if the suggested location is viable to meet the needs of students and the community. If so, that option could be included in a future CIP.
Moving Forward – Additional Community Input:
Many of the projects in the CIP will require additional community input and further collaboration with the Arlington County Board and staff as APS moves forward. These processes will include:
- Arlington Tech: planning and phasing study
- High Schools: visioning process (during 2016-17 school year)
- High Schools: boundary refinement process (Sept. – Nov. 2016 to take effect with incoming and future 9th graders in Sept. 2017)
- Middle Schools: boundary change process for new MS at Stratford site (to be conducted during the 2017-18 school year to become effective in Sept. 2019)
- Elementary Schools: boundary change process for new ES at Jefferson site (to be conducted during the 2017-18 school year to become effective in Sept. 2019)
- Drew Neighborhood School: visioning process
- Aurora Hills Community & Senior Center: planning study with Arlington County for joint-use redevelopment
The Arlington County Board will approve the full 10-year CIP for the County, including the APS CIP, on July 19, 2016. The complete PowerPoint presentation of the adopted FY 2017-26 CIP is available online at www.apsva.us/moreseats. The full CIP document will be finalized, printed and posted online by late July 2016.
Highlights of Major Projects Included in the FY 2017-26 APS CIP:
Elementary Seats to be Determined
- Estimated New Seats: 725
- Projected Completion: start of school, September 2021
- Maximum Estimated Project Cost: $49,000,000
- 2016 Bond Funding: $0 (Project funding also includes $38.25 million in future bonds, $4.0 million from reserves, $5.5 million from the joint fund, and $1.25 million in other funds)
Middle School Capacity:
- Estimated New Seats: 400-725
- Projected Completion: start of school, September 2025
- Maximum Estimated Project Cost: $68,920,000
- 2016 Bond Funding: $0 (Project funding also includes $58.04 million in future bonds, $9.16 million from the joint fund, and $1.72 million in other funds)
New School at Stratford
Middle School Internal Modifications
- Estimated New Seats: 339
- Projected Completion: start of school, September 2019
- Maximum Estimated Project Cost: $36,550,000
- 2016 Bond Funding: $26,030,000 (Project funding also includes $5.25 million in prior bonds, $0.25 million from reserves, $4.22 million from the joint fund, and $0.80 million in other funds)
- Estimated New Seats: 120+
- Projected Completion: start of school, September 2017
- Maximum Estimated Project Cost: $2,000,000
- 2016 Bond Funding: $0 (Project funding also includes $2.0 million from reserves)