Approved Capital Improvement Program Adds New Schools, Advances Commitment to Student Success
Fairfax County School Board unanimously approved an annual update to the capital improvement program (CIP) that includes continuing work on upgrading school facilities across the County, the building of three new elementary schools, and acquiring land to be used for a new high school during the School Board meeting on Thursday evening.
The new elementary schools and acquisition of land for a new high school will address current and projected overcrowding.
Other projects in the FY 2024-28 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) include three new and/or repurposed school facilities, the renovation of 25 schools in the renovation queue, and the relocation of modular buildings. Timelines for capital projects will be posted on project web pages on the FCPS website.
“The CIP is more than a plan for building and renovating our schools,” said Dr. Michelle C. Reid, Superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. “It expresses our values and priorities, chief of which is providing equitable access to high-quality public school environments for all students.”
The Fairfax County School Board adopted amendments to the CIP. One amendment is for staff to do a full scoping to determine if a boundary change, program change, or both are options to reduce capacity issues at Kent Gardens Elementary School. A second is to reallocate funding for the design and planning of an Early Childhood Education Center in the Route 1 area.
The board will consider follow on actions to the CIP at the next meeting on February 23.
The CIP also demonstrates the school division’s value of environmental stewardship. FCPS has been a partner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program since 2014, earning numerous awards and recognitions. Additionally, the divisions’ Get2Green program guides sustainability work. Construction and renovation projects are designed to meet current environmental and energy standards, supporting these important goals.
CIP projects are funded by voter-approved bond referendums, not the division’s operating budget. The FY2024-28 CIP reflects a $205 million investment approved by Fairfax County voters in the bond referendum of November 2021, which is included in the program’s funding.
Funding allocations to FCPS from bond sales have increased in recent years due to positive collaboration and partnerships of the Joint CIP Committee of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the School Board. Renovation projects identified in the CIP are placed in ranked queue, which allows for some adjustments of timelines to ensure responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars while continuing to improve educational spaces. This also allows FCPS to adjust for and accommodate the atypically high construction costs that the region has experienced over the past two years as a result of inflation and supply chain issues.
Voters will have the opportunity to approve additional bond funding for school projects included in the CIP in November 2023 which supports the division’s ability to continue to address construction and renovation needs.
FCPS is currently reviewing its engagement process around capital projects to ensure increased transparency and accountability. The progress of each approved project can be found online. Project web pages will keep the public informed of the details and progress of the project, including upcoming engagement opportunities, recordings or minutes from past engagement sessions, project details and timings, progress updates, and more.