- Members divided as to whether a new school should be built immediately
- Report includes study findings, guidelines and endorsement of future planning
- County Board to receive report, take public comment at Jan. 24 Board Meeting
The Thomas Jefferson Working Group today issued their site evaluation recommendations in a report that will be presented to the County Board at its Saturday January 24 meeting.
“While the group could not reach full consensus within tight constraints, we do agree on strong guidelines under which a new school, if approved, could be fitted into this important site without harming TJ Park or the many community activities there,” said Working Group Chair Carrie Johnson.
The 20-member group met 10 times over five months to complete their evaluation and civic engagement process, which included broad analysis and robust dialogues with the community, County staff and Arlington Public Schools (APS). The group concluded that they generally agree it is feasible to locate an elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site within specific guidelines, however the group is divided as to whether a new school should be built immediately.
Their final report includes a summary of their conclusions, site guidelines and the group’s unified endorsement of a comprehensive facilities and open space planning effort, as announced by County Board Chair Mary Hynes earlier this month.
In August 2014, the County Board asked a broad-based working group to evaluate, together with County staff, the feasibility of adding an elementary school to the Thomas Jefferson site. The 27-acre site is located at Arlington Boulevard and S Old Glebe Road and currently includes TJ Middle School, TJ Community Center, a community garden and a park.
In response to increased demands for more seats in schools, the School Board identified Thomas Jefferson as a preferred site in the Arlington Public Schools Capital Improvement Plan. To consider the use of the County-owned land parcel, the County Board adopted a TJ Working Group Charge and appointed members to the group in September 2014. The TJ Working Group brings together community members, Schools and County staff for a robust dialogue about the future of this site.
To learn more about the Thomas Jefferson Site Evaluation, visit the County website.