Community members, school staff and students gathered on the site of the new Patrick Henry School and Recreation Center to help shovel the first dirt as part of the groundbreaking ceremony.
Alexandria City Town Crier Ben Fiore-Walker opened the event with a poem announcing that the crowd was gathered in “the middle part of June to break the soil so our new school will be here soon.”
We will be building a brand new school and recreation center that will provide our students with the optimal environments for learning that they deserve, as well as providing the community and the City of Alexandria with a great educational and recreational facility,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.
The construction of the new Patrick Henry School is in line with the goals of the ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan and mission to see every student succeed. The ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan pledges to work for the modernization of all schools so that every student has not just a beautiful building and learning space, but optimal learning environments as well, with equal access to program opportunities.
We have to remember that the physical environment of school buildings and school grounds is a key factor in the overall wellbeing and safety of students and staff members. Student achievement can be positively affected by a positive physical environment. We know that safe and clean environments are the best places to learn. Schools should be a source of pride for teachers, community members and students — and that means every student,” said Chief Operating Officer Clarence Stukes.
Construction will begin shortly after school gets out for the summer. The initial construction contract was approved by the School Board in early May, following a series of reviews of the final site plan by City departments in the spring. The anticipated completion date for the new Pre-K – 8 school and recreation center is late fall 2018. The project aims to tackle some of the capacity issues that ACPS is facing.
The new school that will be built here is just one of a number of schools that we are set to repair, build or expand throughout the city to meet the increased population and our aging school needs,” said Councilwoman Redella ‘Del’ Pepper, who sat on the Patrick Henry Advisory Committee that worked with the architects and project team on the design.
Mayor Allison Silberberg acknowledged the teamwork required by Alexandria City Public Schools and Alexandria City staff to get the project to this stage. The new school and recreation center are being designed by Mosely Architects and constructed by Keller Construction Management. The project is being overseen by a joint project team made up of staff from ACPS, the City of Alexandria and Brailsford & Dunlavey.
During the construction phase of the project, project staff will send regular updates to Patrick Henry parents and community regarding parking, drop-off areas and construction schedules. There will also be community meetings quarterly and updates will be posted on the ACPS website.
For more information on the Patrick Henry Project or to sign up for email updates, please visit the Patrick Henry Project page on the ACPS website.