Frequently Asked Questions
Why is ACPS building a school with a 720 student capacity?
Nearly all ACPS schools are over-capacity. ACPS projects that the division will continue to grow in the next ten years. In order to accommodate and best serve our families, all new schools will include a net increase in capacity. Every 5 years, or with the opening of a new school, ACPS will evaluate each school’s attendance boundary. This process will allow ACPS to distribute incoming elementary students to the schools with capacity. The projected capacity of 720 students for Cora Kelly includes approximately 8 Pre-K classrooms.
Is ACPS considering Pre-K at Cora Kelly? Why?
Providing Pre-K in elementary schools is a goal for ACPS and the City of Alexandria. Pre-K spots are in demand throughout the district and all new elementary schools will consider the addition of space for Pre-K.
What is Swing Space?
Swing space is the facility that is temporarily utilized as a school building while the new school is being built.
Roughly how much would a swing space cost for those two years of construction?
ACPS is exploring swing space options for future modernization projects and the costs of swing space are variable based on how swing space is approached. For example, costs for renovating an existing school might be less expensive than renovating an existing office building which would be much less expensive than new construction. Costs for these different options could range from $10M-70M.
Is ACPS exploring identifying swing space for both Cora Kelly and GM concurrently (with Cora Kelly occupying that swing space first, followed by the GM student population)?
Yes, if the scenarios for George Mason and Cora Kelly in which swing space is needed is selected by the School Board as the desired scenario, a swing space that would be able to serve each school (George Mason first and then Cora Kelly) would be desirable and likely cost-effective for ACPS.
Will the community be involved in some of the different layout decisions?
Yes, as this project moves into the Design Phase, anticipated in 2026, there will be additional opportunities for community involvement in the process. An Advisory Team will be formed, composed of Cora Kelly parents and community members, that will be an integral component of the design phase to provide feedback to ACPS and the Design team. Community meetings where the public can submit comments and ask questions will also be held on a regular basis during the Design phase.
At what point will ACPS consider the LEED certification level (net zero?) of the new building and the possibility for onsite energy generation?
ACPS is required by the City of Alexandria and the Net Zero regulations to build schools that are Net Zero and have a LEED Gold certification.
Can the school building be taller, so as to not encroach on the RPA or the open space?
ACPS could apply for a special use permit, which would permit a school building of 60 feet in height. The RPA cannot be encroached on per City and State regulations. If ACPS needed to utilize the POS zoned parcel, ACPS would aim to replace the POS zoned area elsewhere on the parcel.