ACPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. has unveiled a ten-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget focused on the fast resolution of urgent elementary and high school capacity issues, while also ensuring alignment with the joint goals of the City and School Board.
The CIP budget for FY 2020-2029, which is aligned with the recommendations of the Ad-Hoc Joint City-Schools Facilities Investment Task Force, addresses the growing enrollment and capacity issues at T.C. Williams High School, without taking its eye off future programming needs.
A total of $124 million will be allocated to The High School Project — a visionary initiative aimed at designing future programming aligned with future business needs while also creating additional space. The project will complete the educational visioning and begin the work of program design this school year, while all new construction connected with the project is expected to be complete by 2023.
It also includes funding for the modernization of Douglas MacArthur and George Mason elementary schools and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology within the ten year period, along with another new elementary school. The CIP recommends adding pre-K facilities to each of these new buildings.
This is a Capital Improvement Program budget that both aligns with the present needs outlined by the City’s Task Force, and the desire of ACPS to create inspirational programing that meets the needs of our future graduates who will reinvent themselves multiple times over in their careers. It bridges the pressing needs of the present and the aspirations of future generations,” said Dr. Hutchings.
The CIP also recommends that $93.6 million is allocated to maintaining and upgrading current ACPS facilities, including system-wide replacement projects, technology updates and safety and security upgrades. The CIP also has a focus on projects that support equity and accessibility such as playground upgrades and elevator access. The CIP is aligned with the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan’s Goal 4 — which focuses on providing optimal learning environments — and priorities set by the School Board.
ACPS is already facing urgent capacity issues. With approximately 4,000 students, T.C. Williams High School is currently 300 students over capacity and is expected to grow significantly in the next five years. Growing student enrollment at the elementary level has also been an issue and will continue to be. This year kindergarten enrollment reached 1,500 students, a number not seen since the bubble cohort of September 2011. This school year Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School — with a capacity of approximately 640 students — opened on the West End. The new Patrick Henry K-8 School building is scheduled to open in January.
The School Board will hold a public hearing on the CIP budget on December 6 and four work sessions in November and December. The CIP budget is due to be adopted on December 20.
View the presentation slides (PDF).