NOTE: Visit the full project website here.
NEW: Community Tour of the High School
Referendum: November 7
The November 7, 2017 ballot will include a referendum for $120 million bond to pay for a renovated high school and a portion of the middle school. View the ordinance passed by the Falls Church City Council that includes the language for the ballot.
How We Got Here
Over the past four years, the City Council and School Board have taken an extensive look at the possibilities, considering options for a new school that include full gut renovation and addition; partial renovation and addition; phased building over 10 years; and new building.
The schools conducted a feasibility study that concluded the best option was a five-story high school aside 10 acres of commercial development. In an economic feasibility study, consultants estimated that as much as $45 million could be earned by the City’s long-term lease or sale of the 10 acres. Because of limited space on the site, the new school would need to be built before the existing building can be taken down for commercial development. The City will need to issue bonds for the full cost of the school before the commercial development revenue from the sale or lease of the property is available.
This document shows the anticipated schedule for the projects if the November 2017 referendum passes. In summary:
- December 2017 through March 2019: High school design and permitting
- March 2019: City issues first half of construction bonds, with remainder of bonds sold in 2020
- Spring 2019 – Summer 2021: Construction of the high school
- September 2021: New high school opens
The City's consultants Alvarez & Marsal detail a proposed strategic roadmap for marketing the 10 acres for commercial development. The summary timeline is as follows:
- December 2017 through February 2019: Final planning, zoning, and marketing of 10 acres of campus property for commercial development
- February 2019: City enters into master development agreement for the lease or sale of 10 acres of campus property, prior to the issuance of bonds to finance the construction of the school
- Spring 2019 through Summer 2021: City considers land approvals and site plan approvals for commercial development
- September 2021: Developer takes possession of 10 acres of campus land for commercial development and the existing high school is demolished
For more information including archived documents, videos, and meeting materials, visit the project website.