- Meetings scheduled for September, October
- Public welcome
ARLINGTON, Va. – Members of the Thomas Jefferson Site Evaluation Group are being contacted now and will be formally appointed to the Working Group by the County Board at its September 16 work session. The group will hold its first meeting on Saturday, September 20, at 8:45 a.m. (with coffee at 8:15 a.m.). The Board established the Working Group to study the feasibility of building a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson site.
The Working Group will hold a second meeting on Wednesday, October 1, at 7 p.m. Both meetings will be held at Thomas Jefferson Middle School at 125 South Old Glebe Road. The public is welcome to attend, listen to the discussions, and offer comments in writing to the Working Group. A community open house will be scheduled for later in October and additional Working Group meetings will follow.
Arlington Public Schools (APS) identified the Thomas Jefferson site as the “preferred” option for a new elementary school earlier this year. Because portions of Thomas Jefferson Park and the school are under County control, the County Board in July established and charged the Working Group with evaluating the Thomas Jefferson site and making a recommendation on whether an elementary school should be built on any part of the site.
The charge includes site-specific goals and identified membership on the Working Group as representatives from nearby civic associations, Arlington Public Schools, other civic representatives and appointed advisory boards and commissions. Board Vice Chair Mary Hynes will be the Board's liaison to the group. County Staff and the Thomas Jefferson Working Group will collaborate with schools and the community to evaluate the site.
The site is bounded by Arlington Boulevard to the north, South Irving Street to the east, 2nd Street South to the south, South Old Glebe Road to the west. It excludes a series of single family homes located at the northwest corner of the site facing Arlington Boulevard. The site is within the Arlington Heights Civic Association (AHCA).
The Board expects the Working Group to complete its evaluation within five months and reach either of two possible conclusions:
- Alternative 1: Recommendation for siting a new school at a particular location within the Thomas Jefferson site, in which case the Working Group would develop general conditions and design principles to address both the site context and neighborhood context, and to mitigate impacts on existing public areas and uses.
- Alternative 2: Recommendation not to site a new school at Thomas Jefferson based on specific findings. (The Arlington Public Schools Capital Improvement Plan states that should the Thomas Jefferson site not be selected, its second choice is to construct additions to two yet unspecified South Arlington elementary schools.)
To learn more, visit the County website.