ACPS Begins Process of Naming the West End Elementary School

The West End Elementary School Naming Committee will meet for the first time this week to begin the process of deciding the name of the new school.

The committee will meet on Wednesday, November 8 at the new West End Elementary School at 1701 N. Beauregard at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public and will include a brief tour of the new school building.

The School Board announced the names of the West End Elementary School Naming Committee last week. The final West End Elementary School Naming Committee is made up of 10 Alexandria residents—nine members of the public, one nominated by each School Board member from applications received—plus one member nominated by City Council. In addition, the Vice Chair of the School Board will serve as the West End Elementary School Naming Committee Chair.

The committee’s role between now and February is to reach out to the community to solicit and review name recommendations and develop tasks and a timetable for recommendations to the School Board. The committee is required to submit at least three names to the School Board for consideration by the end of January 2018. The final selection of a name for the new school is the responsibility of the School Board.

Naming suggestions may include U.S. presidents, Virginia historical figures, or places or historical events related to the facility or the location. Naming suggestions can also include a person, business or corporation that has made a significant or extraordinary contribution to the City of Alexandria, usually in the context of education, public service or involvement in civic or cultural activities over an extended period of time.

Names that cause confusion with other Virginia public schools or facilities, including names that have the same initials as another ACPS school, should be avoided.

The vacant office building at 1701 N. Beauregard Street will become the first new school in ACPS since 2000. As space in urban settings becomes more constrained, other school divisions have already shown that this model of retrofitting vacant office space is the model of the future and an effective reuse of space.

The opening of the new West End Elementary School coincides with ACPS plans to implement new school boundaries in the fall of 2018, and addresses some of the urgent capacity needs that the school division is facing. The first four floors of the building will be used for the new 650-seat elementary school, while the top two floors will be used as office space by ACPS. Outdoor play space, including a basketball court, will be added on the roof of the adjacent parking garage at 1705 N. Beauregard Street, with a raised walkway from the school to allow for easy and secure student and staff access.

ACPS, Ferdinand Day