Although feeling pressured by the request for an accelerated adoption of its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the Falls Church School Board unanimously OK’d a draft plan developed by Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones at its meeting tonight.
Laid out in broad strokes by Dr. Jones, the plan calls for $5.6 million in FY 13, mostly for the Thomas Jefferson Elementary renovation and expansion (and $110,000 for baseball/soccer field lighting at George Mason High), for $2.2 million in FY14 for renovation and construction of the City’s Cherry Street (Child Development Center) property, $6.2 million in FY 15 for Mt. Daniel Elementary expansion and ADA renovations and $40.8 million in FY 16 and again in FY 17 for George Mason High School construction.
The board decided to recommend a complete gut renovation of the Cherry Street property, preferred over two less comprehensive options. The draft CIP plan also includes annual sums ranging from $485,000 to $220,000 over the five coming years for routine systems replacement, renewal and modernization, and $400,000 in FY 16 for a football/soccer field turf replacement at George Mason High.
“This is a good faith action on our part to approve this tonight,” noted School Board member Kieran Sharpe. “We’ve been asked to accelerate this process tremendously, and I hope others will reach back to us.” He said, “There has been no attempt to communicate with us, and we it to come back.” He was presumably referring to the pressures coming from the Falls Church City Council.
The School Board-approved CIP will now go to the City’s Planning Commission for consideration, and then to the Council for final review, revisions and adoption.