Superintendent Announces Plan to Solve Seating Capacity Issues Across All Grade Levels by 2027

Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley has announced a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the next ten years that includes a new elementary school, new middle school and new high school building to fully address seating capacity needs by 2027.

The cost of the plan for the next ten years would be $515.7 million. This would be an increase of $224.6 million over last year’s CIP in order to cover the costs of the secondary capacity needs.

Under the Capital Improvement Plan proposed on Thursday, the overall capacity of the school division would grow, while simultaneously modernizing to provide equitable and optimal learning environments in line with the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan.

This is a long range plan designed to solve all of ACPS’ capacity issues within the next ten years and beyond. There is no doubt that this is a dynamic and aggressive plan that can only be achieved with the support of our community and City Council.  We all need to work together to create school facilities that foster vibrant learning, equitable access to academic programming, and a strong foundation for our community,” said Superintendent Crawley.

Under the Superintendent’s proposal, T.C. Williams High School Minnie Howard Campus would be torn down and replaced with a much larger second high school campus for students attending T.C. Williams.  Programming for the second T.C. Williams campus would be defined by the results of a grade-level feasibility study to be completed in the early spring. The proposed plan also continues to support a Middle College option in collaboration with local colleges to enable high school students to take college-level classes, as well as the expansion of dual enrollment and other instructional opportunities that provide greater options for high school students.

Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, George Mason Elementary School and Matthew Maury Elementary School would all be modernized over the next ten years, which includes adding capacity at the same time. These projects require the identification and funding of swing space within this coming budget year to accommodate students during construction. The proposed plan also adds a second co-located pre-K center at Cora Kelly to house another twelve classes of pre-K students.

The proposed CIP budget requests $29.8 million in FY 2018 and calls for collaboration with the City to address funding gaps as outlined in the shared Long Range Educational Facilities Plan. The budget also calls for a comprehensive plan of community engagement to increase transparency and develop accountability measures to monitor the effectiveness and quality of facilities services.

Based on preliminary enrollment, ACPS has continued to grow this year to 15,104 students, which is within 98.7 percent of enrollment projections. With the number of students in ACPS facilities (including partner prek-Ks) still exceeding available capacity by over 1,300 seats, ACPS has developed a dynamic capital plan to meet the needs of students and the broader community. Highlights of the plan include:

Projected Elementary Capacity Projects

  • New West End Elementary School: Retrofit a vacant office building to house a new K-5 school (+638 seats)
  • Pre-K Center I: Co-locate pre-K with John Adams Elementary School (+360 seats)
  • Douglas MacArthur: Modernization and rebuild for a capacity of 775 students (+221 seats)
  • Cora Kelly: Proposed addition of 10 classrooms (+221 seats)
  • Pre-K Center II: Co-locate pre-K with Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology with an additional 12 pre-K classes (+220 seats)
  • George Mason: Proposed build for 600 student capacity (+232 seats)
  • New Elementary School: Build a new elementary school for 600 students, site TBD (+600 seats)

Projected Secondary Capacity Projects

  • New middle school: Build a new middle school to accommodate 1,200 students (+1,200 seats)
  • T.C. Williams Campus of Minnie Howard: Complete rebuild of campus to accommodate 1,600 students (+717 seats)
  • Middle College option: Collaborate with area colleges to offer high school experience on college campus (+250 high school seats at NOVA)
  • *Patrick Henry Pre-K – 8 School: New school building adds middle school capacity (+234 middle school seats) was previously approved in the FY 2016-25 CIP

Read the full CIP.

ACPS, Budget, News Release, Video