Arlington’s new Joint Facilities Advisory Commission is moving right along. Literally.
On Saturday, Feb. 11, commission members and interested residents, plus County Board Vice Chair Katie Cristol, School Board Vice Chair Barbara Kanninen and Member James Lander, boarded an ART bus for a morning tour.
Destination: sites that illustrate current conditions or could help the County Government and Arlington Public Schools resolve pressing capital facilities needs.
The 21-member commission (“JFAC”) was created last year to provide input to the County Board and School Board on capital facilities needs assessment, capital improvement plans and long-range facility planning.
Over time, the JFAC will provide input on our community’s needs for schools, parks, recreation facilities and other facilities spanning the next 20-30 years.
However, the comission is directed to focus its immediate attention on shorter-term facilities essential to operational and support services.
This includes evaluating the potential uses for the recent land-swap proposal involving the Buck property and Shirlington Road site, as well as Virginia Hospital Center properties on Carlin Springs Road, Lee Highway and 16th Street North.
Seeing the sites
“The focus of the tour was to help commissioners familiarize themselves with some key properties and sites, and to see first-hand some of the County’s essential operational and support service needs,” said Commission Chair Ginger Brown.
The tour kicked off with an overview of the siting and use determination processes the commission will use in making its recommendations.
The tour’s first stop was the Buck property, followed by the Virginia Hospital Center-owned sites. The Arcland property on Shirlington Road was next, followed by the Trades Center, current home to many of the County’s essential operational and support services.
“This was eye-opening in a number of ways,” Brown said.
“From the sheer number of ART and school buses that need a place to park to all of the equipment and material storage needs for water pipes and street signs, seeing all this really helps put in perspective what it takes to run the County.”
The commission next meets Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Navy League Building. No bus involved but this important work will keep rolling right along.
Learn more about the Joint Facility Advisory Commission.