Many elementary and high schools in the local area are either overcrowded or full to the brim. But relief — although far off — is on the way in the form of a new elementary school and a new high school.
Fairfax County Public Schools has just proposed its $871.2 million, fiscal year 2014-18 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which includes new schools and additions, capacity enhancements, renovations and infrastructure requirements, over five years.
Some $190.9 million of that amount is currently funded with approved school bonds, leaving a balance of $680.3 million unfunded. So completion of projects as scheduled in this CIP will require school bond referenda in 2013 and 2015.
The CIP includes funding for three new elementary schools, one of which would be in western Fairfax County to provide relief for schools such as Colin Powell Elementary, which has been crowded almost since the day it opened.
The proposal also includes money for a new high school in the southwest area of the county to help alleviate overcrowding at Centreville, Chantilly and South Lakes high schools.
The School Board has scheduled a work session on Jan. 14 and will vote on the CIP at its Jan. 24 business meeting. Details about the FY 2013-17 CIP may be found at http://www.fcps.edu/fts/planning/cip.shtml.
Centreville’s building capacity is 2,056 and its current enrollment is 2,381 students for 116-percent building utilization. By 2017-18, it’s projected to have 2,498 students using 121 percent of its building.
Chantilly was renovated several years ago to increase its building capacity to 2,583 students. It already has 2,681 this year for 102-percent building utilization. And its 2017-18 projections are for 2,761 students using 107 percent of its building.
However, according to Ajay Rawat, FCPS coordinator of Facilities Planning Services, “It could take seven to 10 years [for the new high school to materialize]. We don’t even have a site for it now.”