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F.C. Council, School Board Vote Unanimously to Reject Clark Plan

MEMBERS OF THE FALLS CHURCH City Council and School Board traded places Monday night after the City Council passed its three motions and as the School Board was preparing to pass its three. (Photo: News-Press)
MEMBERS OF THE FALLS CHURCH City Council and School Board traded places Monday night after the City Council passed its three motions and as the School Board was preparing to pass its three. (Photo: News-Press)

Following their third lengthy closed session to mull the vast proposal from Clark Construction to develop the 39 acres inclusive of George Mason High School, the F.C. City Council and School Board emerged back into open session at 9:50 p.m. Monday night to take a series of swift and unanimous votes to reject the Clark plan in favor of restoring the original process of calling for “requests for proposals” and thereby entertaining anyone who might wish to step forward to bid on the development of the land.

The City Council first convened to pass its motions without debate, and then adjourned while the School Board took the dais and did the same. The first phrase of the first motion for both the City Council and the School Board refered to “the difficulty of revising unsolicited proposals to meet both the Falls Church City Public Schools needs for a high school as well as a middle school expansion under the existing Private Public Education Act guidelines and associated processes.” The motion was passed to reject the “unsolicited PPEA proposal delivered by Edgemoor Infrastructure and Realty on March 11, 2015.”

The second motion that passed both bodies unanimously called for the City Council and School Board “to adopt the process reflected in the timeline dated May 11, 2015 to pursue the issuance of a request for proposals” for development of the property, and the third motion that passed authorized the use of the George Mason High Campus Planning funds for uo to $79,,, for visioning, up to $75,000 for the services to hired an owner’s representative for specializes in school program planning, RFP development and construction, and up to $20,000 in planning funds for attorney fees.”
City Manager Wyatt Shields confirmed to the News-Press following these two brief public meetings that Clark Construction would be welcome to submit and RFP going forward, that the rejection of their unsolicited proposals did not suggest a rejection of the elements of their proposal.

The timeline for the RFP process, that accompanied tonight’s votes, called for a final “visioning” report by July 15, an RFP for conceptual proposals by July 15, with 90 days for responses to be due (by October 15) and the selection of a finalist by May 15, 2016, in just over a year from now. The execution of the final comprehensive agreement under this timeline would come on Nov. 9, 2016, following a Nov. 8, 2016 public referendum if necessary.