- New classrooms and renovations of existing space
- Adding 241 seats
- Expected completion by school year 2016-17
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved a use permit for new additions and renovations at the campus of McKinley Elementary School.
“The County continues to work collaboratively with Arlington Public Schools to complete the design and approval of school expansion and construction projects,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette. “We're working together on immediate solutions to help ease overcrowding, and with this project, we're adding approximately 241 seats.”
Arlington Public School (APS) plans to build approximately 40,445 square foot of new additions at McKinley, in three locations, including:
- a primary addition – approximately 33,040 gross square feet – at the northeast corner of the existing building
- a secondary addition – approximately 6,261 gross square feet – to replace the existing pentagon addition on the southwest corner of the school
- 1,175 gross square foot addition to renovate and expand the main entry and school administration offices on the east side of the school
The project also includes approximately 8,835 square feet of demolition in the gymnasium and pentagon wing, for a net increase of about 32,250 square feet.
The primary addition will be faced with brick, glass, and fiber cement panels. It will provide 10 new classrooms, two new art rooms, and two new music rooms. In addition, the current gymnasium will be expanded to provide a place for the entire school community to gather. The gymnasium will have a stage so that it can also be used as an auditorium.
The estimated total project cost is $20.5 million. It is expected to be completed by September 2016 with funding from the 2012 and 2014 bond referenda.
The County Board voted unanimously to approve the use permit for the existing elementary school with an expansion of approximately 32,250 square feet and a modification of the Zoning Ordinance Requirements to permit reduction of on-site parking spaces from 108 to 56 parking spaces.
Managing parking, traffic and street improvements
The Board approved a parking modification based on the Zoning Ordinance.
- Staff analyzed the traffic study prepared by Toole Design Group (APS's traffic consultant) and found that the proposed modification from 108 parking spaces required by the Zoning Ordinance, to 56 parking spaces, would not cause an undue adverse impact on the surrounding community.
- The consensus of both the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) and the Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC) was that the modification strikes the appropriate balance between Zoning Ordinance requirements and the additional parking demand generated by the expanded school.
- Additionally, accommodating the required parking as required by the Zoning Ordinance would significantly reduce the amount of open space available for use by both the school and the surrounding community.
Arlington County policies require all new public facilities to have a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan to manage the traffic and parking impacts on the neighborhood. The school will need to appoint a new TDM/parking coordinator to monitor the traffic impacts and promote alternative ways to get to the school, including walking, biking or taking public transit.
There will also be improvements to the crosswalk in front of the school across McKinley Road and pedestrian access to 11th Street.
The public review process for the McKinley Elementary School addition and renovation took less than a year to complete. The review process consisted of three phases – a conceptual phase, a schematic phase, and Planning Commission review and the final approval by the County Board.
The County's PFRC and Arlington Public School's BLPC worked in tandem to review the project.
BLPC members include school staff, teachers, parents and PTA members; representation from community groups, and County staff in the school's building and planning process. BLPC discussed the project at 14 meetings and the PFRC at eight of its meetings.
The APS Board adopted 2013-22 School Capital Improvements Program (CIP) identified funding for 1,875 new elementary school students. The McKinley Elementary School addition and renovation was one of the projects listed in the CIP to add space for 241 students, bringing the total capacity of the school to approximately 684 students.
To read the staff report and learn more about the planned project, visit the County Website. Scroll down to Item XX on the Agenda for the September 20, 2014 Regular Board Meeting.
Learn more about Arlington County's Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC).