The actual work started in mid-April, but City of Fairfax officials and representatives of the contractor, Grunley Construction, were on hand for a groundbreaking ceremony at Fairfax High School on May 3.
"This day has been long in coming," said Janice Miller, chair of the City of Fairfax School Board. "It hasn’t happened without a lot of people coming together.
"If we’re going to have a first-class community, we’re going to need first-class schools."
Mayor Robert Lederer told the crowd that he had been present at the groundbreaking for the current high school, and that his father, Robert Lederer Sr., had been the head of the citizen task force which worked to generate community support.
The Mayor had also been among the first class to graduate from the school after it had been completed in 1974. Now his daughter, Ashley, 14, will be among the first to graduate from the school after renovations are complete in 2007. "History really repeats itself," he said.
The school renovation will be funded through part of a bond sale approved by voters last November. The portion of the bond to be allotted to Fairfax High School was $54 million. However, construction estimates for several projects in the city, and other neighboring jurisdictions, have been coming in higher than the estimated cost in the past months, so the total cost of the renovation will likely be higher.
The balance of the bond, $32 million, was to be used to renovate Lanier Middle School. However, that project also had its construction bids come in too high. The Lanier project was scheduled to begin this summer, but the City of Fairfax School Board decided to re-bid the project in the fall.
<1b>— Ari Cetron