Even as Colin Powell Elementary was opening its doors to its first students ever, a couple years ago, plans were already on the drawing board for yet another new elementary school to relieve it.
NOW, DUE to the explosive growth in the Centreville, Chantilly and Fair Lakes area, that new school is well into construction on Dixie Hill Road, near the Fairfax County Government Center and Route 29. And dates have been set for three meetings that will help determine this school’s boundaries.
The first two are Tuesday, Oct. 11, and Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m. each night, at Rocky Run Middle School, 4400 Stringfellow Road in Chantilly. The third will be Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m., at Liberty Middle School, 6801 Union Mill Road in Clifton.
“At the first meeting, we’ll share information about the boundary process, and parents will ask questions,” said Gary Chevalier, director of Fairfax County Public Schools’ Facilities Planning Services. “Then they’ll break into small groups. They’ll develop a list of what areas they want us to consider including in the boundaries, and they’ll tell us what their concerns are.”
After that, school-system staff will draw up three possible boundary plans. Then, at the second meeting, said Chevalier, “We’ll show how each plan addresses the items parents previously told us were important to them. They’ll again break into small groups and will evaluate each one.”
AT THE third meeting, a single plan – incorporating information gleaned and refined during the first two meetings — will be presented. “Parents will review it and make comments,” said Chevalier. “And they’ll have a work session to tell us how to improve that plan. Then we’ll do possible fine-tuning of it and make a recommendation to the School Board in early January.”
The $16 million, west Fairfax elementary school will have 36 classrooms and the same floor plan as Powell. And although Powell will be the main beneficiary of its construction, some students may also be shifted to the new school from Greenbriar East and West elementaries, as well as Poplar Tree, Brookfield, Willow Springs and Fairfax Villa.
Some $1.3 million included in the November 2003 countywide school bond enabled the school system to begin engineering, initial design and architectural work for the new school. It’s slated to open in September 2006 in the Fair Chase subdivision — on property dedicated to the county for a school as part of land rezoning in the Fairfax Center area of the Springfield District.
Ultimately, the new school will serve students in both the Sully and Springfield districts. In February, the School Board will hold at least one public hearing on the proposed boundary and is expected to make a final decision, the end of that month.