Capital Improvement Program Budget
The Alexandria City School Board has approved a 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget that allows Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) to continue to modernize its buildings and technology, while also taking the current economic climate into consideration.
The Approved FY 2022-2031 CIP Budget, which totals $551,483,000, provides funding for technology upgrades, online and physical textbook materials, and the expansion of the Alexandria City High School Minnie Howard Campus as part of The High School Project. This will keep ACPS on target with its program to expand seating capacity at the high school level, while also ensuring schools stay up-to-date with technology needs that have been highlighted over the past year.
The School Board approved funding for urgent building repairs such as HVAC, roof, safety and security upgrades. However,the modernization of George Mason Elementary School and Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology were deferred by one year in light of the current economic forecast. The modernization of the ACPS Transportation Facility will also be deferred by one year, and a new ACPS school and modernization of Matthew Maury Elementary School will be deferred by two years.
“We understand the economic challenges the City is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This budget prioritizes the school division’s critical needs while deferring some of the larger construction projects to better economic times. This is a budget that reflects the needs of both the City and the schools and is an example of strong collaboration in the care of all our facilities,” said School Board Chair Cindy M. Anderson.
The approved budget is aligned with each of the goals of the ACPS 2025 Strategic Plan: Equity for All, as well as the School Board CIP priorities for the next 10 years, which include building upgrades, such as HVAC, roof, and safety and security upgrades; compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) projects in the areas of transportation and playgrounds; modernizing ACPS facilities and increasing ACPS seat capacity; and planning for future projects which includes communications and engagement support. Textbook and technology upgrades are also funded through the CIP and are also School Board priorities.
The approved CIP is also still aligned with the recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Joint City-Schools Facility Investment Task Force.
“This Capital Improvement program budget sets out a multi-year strategic plan that aligns with the City’s long-term plans. Continued collaboration is essential to maintaining the integrity of our facilities, especially in this economic climate, as the Capital Improvement program is implemented,” said ACPS Executive Director of Facilities and Operations Dr. Alicia Hart.
The approved CIP budget will now be considered by City Council following the City Manager’s budget proposal on Feb. 16. Community members can voice their opinions about the approved CIP budget at the public hearing scheduled for March 8, 2021.
Highlights of Approved FY 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program Budget
- The budget prioritizes critical ACPS needs which include increasing capacity, upgrades to safety and security, and modernization projects.
- Approximately $1.5 million has been allocated to textbook and technology upgrades for next year.
- The modernization of the ACPS Transportation Facility will be deferred by a year to better define the scope and the understanding of partnership with relevant City departments.
- The build of a new school (600 students, grade level to be determined) will be deferred by two years to FY 2030-2031.
- The modernization of Matthew Maury Elementary School will be deferred by two years to FY 2032-2033.
- Costs for the modernization of George Mason Elementary School, Cora Kelly Elementary School for Math, Science and Technology and the Transportation Facility have been updated.
- The modernization of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School will continue on schedule. Demolition work is scheduled to begin in December 2020and the building is on schedule to be completed by 2023. ACPS continues to utilize cost-reduction strategies to stay within the current budget for this project and thus will not request additional funding from the City to support completion. Reduction strategies under consideration include refining contingencies, revising space needed for extended learning areas, investigating options for furniture procurement and updating site layout. The CIP includes $2 million to support the installation of utilities and solar panels required to meet net-zero energy, both which were not originally budgeted for in this project.
- The total Approved CIP budget for the next 10 years is $551,483,000.