FCPS Releases FY 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program

December 17, 2020

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has released its proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-26 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) that focuses on capital projects, including new school construction, capacity enhancements, and renovations, reflecting schools for the current school year (2020-21) and a five-year requirement of approximately $1.1 billion. FCPS continues to experience uneven growth throughout the division because of changes in population, new development, and net migration. In certain areas, membership exceeds the ability to accommodate students within existing school buildings. This continues to present a capacity challenge and will necessitate the continuation of boundary adjustments to take advantage of available capacity whenever it is practicable to do so.

The CIP annually reviews current student membership analysis and facilities data to identify future capacity needs and capital requirements for new construction, capacity enhancements, renovations, and acquiring land for facilities in the future. The changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and a virtual start to school have impacted several elements that are part of the CIP approach. A five-year projection set has not been produced as the possible future impact of the unique decline in membership for the 2020-21 school year will depend on many factors, including the future course of the pandemic and economic conditions. An assessment of facility capacity was not completed, and program capacity utilization was not calculated due to a virtual start to the school year and ongoing planning for a return to school with social distancing which required using all available rooms for core instruction.

Capital projects are identified for school renovations, additions, and modular additions where needed. The CIP is modified to provide the estimated schedule and cost of capital projects. Funds approved in the 2019 School Bond Referendum and previous referenda will address approximately $314 million of the five-year requirement, leaving a balance of approximately $790 million unfunded. The 2019 School Bond Referendum approved by county voters provided funding for the construction of one new elementary school, the relocation of one modular addition, construction of three high school additions, and renovations of five elementary schools and two middle schools. The bond also included funding for the planning of one new elementary school and the renovations of five elementary schools.

Funding for capital improvement projects is currently limited by a $180 million yearly cap on school bond sales. Additional funding sources include $2.7 million for overcrowding and $10 million for routine or major maintenance from FCPS Operating Funds, and $13.1 million for infrastructure management and $658,852 received as proffers from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. 

The School Board has scheduled a work session on the FY 2022-26 CIP on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, from 1 to 3 p.m. and will hold a public hearing prior to its business meeting on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at 7 p.m. The Board is scheduled to vote on the CIP at its business meeting on Thursday, February 4, 2021. Details about the FY 2022-26 CIP are available online.

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