Board Matters: Colocation and School Modernization Discussions

The Board received presentations on the feasibility studies for George Mason Elementary School and Cora Kelly School and other topics.

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Alexandria, VA – The meeting that was held was designed to focus on modernizations, but shifted in order to briefly address the topic of colocation that came up this week.

The Board received presentations on the feasibility studies for George Mason Elementary School and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology, and discussed the two concepts being proposed for Douglas MacArthur Elementary School’s new building.

If you didn’t watch the January 23 meeting live, you can watch online anytime from the comfort of your sofa, and take your time to view the presentations and memos. Don’t forget that you can also watch all Board meetings live on ACPS-TV, local cable channel 71 and ACPS-TV online. You can also watch all meetings recorded online.

Feasibility studies for Cora Kelly and George Mason

This agenda item tonight was simply to discuss whether it was feasible to build at George Mason or Cora Kelly while continuing to use the current building on site. We were intending to have colocation discussions in the future, but there is so much more information, research needed, and discussions to be had to determine if the colocation of affordable/workforce housing is right for any school. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. apologized on behalf of his team for having information released too early. ACPS intends to work collaboratively and is conscious that building a new school takes collaboration.

Ultimately, the contractor for the feasibility studies determined that both George Mason and Cora Kelly should be considered as complete replacements and not just renovations with additions.

Need to hear more on this topic?

Come out to continue this discussion at:

  • George Mason on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 6 p.m.
  • Cora Kelly on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 6 p.m.

It’s Down to the Final Two! Douglas MacArthur Modernization Options

Two recommended concepts for the new Douglas MacArthur Elementary School building went before the School Board for consideration at this meeting.

The two concepts — named “Y” and “Forest” for identification purposes — were narrowed down from five original proposed concepts following input and feedback form the Douglas MacArthur Advisory Group and the wider community. Both concepts comply with staff and community desires for the new building, as compiled through Advisory Group sessions in the fall.

During these sessions staff and the community expressed a wish for a community school feel with open space for children to play both inside and outside school hours. They also wanted a school that capitalized on the wooded area to the back of the school and brought the sense of nature into the building.

The topic of exploring colocation options for affordable/workforce housing was addressed by Dr. Hutchings. He stressed that the educational program will always take priority and that any consideration around affordable/workforce housing will come second. The educational component will always remain the priority for ACPS in any modernization project.

Options for colocation could include additional recreation space, affordable/workforce housing, or added health services, colocated on the site with Douglas MacArthur Elementary School. ACPS and the City intend to explore feasible and appropriate colocation opportunities within the chosen concept, once it has been decided.

Watch out for an upcoming meeting to discuss colocation options for MacArthur before the Board votes on any option on February 6.

ICYMI: New MacArthur Building Up For Consideration by School Board