The new Patrick Henry School officially opens its doors to students today, concluding 18 months of construction to build an expanded and modernized facility.
The first students will walk through the doors of the new school shortly before 8 a.m. to be welcomed into their new classrooms by their teachers. Staff spent the weekend moving into the new building, which also has a new recreation center as part of the facility.
The new 136,600 square foot school building will have the capacity to house students from kindergarten through grade eight, expanding the number of students able attend the school to 900. Prior to the start of the project, the school housed 650 students in grades pre-K through 5.
This is a momentous day for our children and community. We are delighted that the City and Schools have been able to collaborate so well on this project to ensure the end result works as a 21st century facility for our young learners as well as a recreation center at the heart of the community. We want to thank the City for being our partners in this enterprise,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The original joint project plan between the City and ACPS was put in place almost five years ago. Staff from the City and ACPS worked closely together to resolve site constraints and topographical issues that have arisen since the initial project plan was put in place and to ensure the project is as efficient as possible while simultaneously matching the needs of both entities.
This wonderful new facility is a game-changer both for our students and the West Side of Alexandria. Our students deserve this building that works for 21st century learning needs and I cannot wait to see their faces,” said Patrick Henry principal Ingrid Bynum.
The new Patrick Henry Neighborhood Recreation Center will have 19,000 square feet of dedicated recreation space including indoor running or walking lanes, a flex court with full size basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts, multipurpose rooms for senior programming, community classes, meetings and expanded out-of-school-time programs, and dedicated arts and crafts, exercise and fitness and soft play rooms. The school and recreation center will share a further 12,000 square feet including a black box theatre, full-size gymnasium and an additional multipurpose room.
Work on the next phase of the project will begin shortly with the construction of a full size rectangular synthetic turf field, baseball diamond overlay, outdoor basketball court, three playgrounds and the installation of adult fitness equipment.
A community open house will be held for the school on Saturday, February 2 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.