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Friday, December 21, 2012

FCPS FY 2014-18 CIP Includes Three New Elementary Schools, One High School to Address Growth

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has proposed its fiscal year (FY) 2014-18 Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which includes new schools and additions, capacity enhancements, renovations, and infrastructure requirements over five years totaling $871.2 million; $190.9 million of which is currently funded with approved school bonds, leaving a balance of $680.3 million unfunded. Completion of projects as scheduled in this CIP will require school bond referenda in 2013 and subsequent years.
The CIP includes funding for three new elementary schools—in eastern Fairfax County, the Richmond Highway corridor, and western Fairfax County—and a new high school in the southwest County area to provide relief to overcrowding at existing high schools such as Centreville, Chantilly, and South Lakes. It is anticipated that two other additional elementary schools will be needed to address future growth in the Fairfax-Oakton area beyond 2018 and in the vicinity of Route 28 and the Dulles Airport Access Road. 
Enrollment in FCPS has increased by more than 17,000 students since the 2006-07 school year and is projected to rise another 14,000 students to more than 195,800 students by the 2017-18 school year.
“The school system is facing a challenging situation in which student enrollment growth is projected to exceed the school system’s ability to accommodate students within existing school buildings,” said Superintendent Jack D. Dale. “This means we will need an increased allocation of capital dollars to build new facilities and enhance capacity in current facilities and continue to rely on temporary classrooms, modular additions, and boundary adjustments to address uneven enrollment growth throughout the county.”  Dale added that the lack of funds to address current and future growth will cause delays in scheduling renovation projects in schools within the system.
“Favorable construction pricing is helping, but delays will occur if the school system does not receive additional capital funding,” said Dale.

FCPS is required to stay within an annual cash-flow limit of $155 million established by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The School Board will hold a public hearing on the FY 2014-18 CIP on Monday, January 7, 2013, at 6 p.m. at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church.    The Board has scheduled a work session on Monday, January 14, 2013, and will vote on the CIP at its business meeting on Thursday, January 24, 2013. Details about the FY 2013-17 CIP are available online.  

Note: For more information, contact Facilities Planning Services at 571-423-2330.