Project Updates

  • Collaborative committee

    Upcoming Meetings:

    Thursday, November 7, 2019 Planning Commission Public Hearing 

    The public hearing before the Planning Commission in City Hall Council Chambers at 7pm will focus on the Development Special Use permit and Site Plan time extension request. This includes Special Use Permits to increase density and exeed allowable off-street parking, allow the use of the old Patrick Henry school building with a temporary parking lot and driveway during construction of the new Douglas MacArthur School.

     

    Saturday, November 16, 2019 City Council Public Hearing

    The public hearing before the City Council in the City Hall Council Chambers at 7pm will focus on the Development Special Use permit and Site Plan time extension request. This includes Special Use Permits to increase density and exeed allowable off-street parking, allow the use of the old Patrick Henry school building with a temporary parking lot and driveway during construction of the new Douglas MacArthur School.

     

    Project Updates

    Thursday, November 7, 2019

    The Alexandria City Planning Commission unanimously approved permitting documents that will allow ACPS to use the old Patrick Henry School as temporary swing space for Douglas MacArthur Elementary School students. By approving a Special Use Amendment (DSUP), the Commission is saying that the design plans, including parking, are acceptable and the two schools can be co-located.

    October 28, 2019: Collaborative Committee Meeting and Community Meeting 

    Collaborative Committee Meeting:

    The committee discussed the start and dismissal time, before-care and after-care options, considered the safety of the drop-off and pick-up schedules, how to minimize traffic, and neighborhood congestion. 

    Community Meeting:

    August 13, 2019: Swing Space Update

    The Collaboration Committee met at Patrick Henry to review and discuss the additional parking on the new plans. There was also a preview of how student drop off at each school would work. The committee intends to break into smaller subcommittees focused on three areas: site & parking; safety & security; Scheduling & programmatic implications. The next community meeting and future collaboration meeting will hear about staggered start times for each school and discuss before and after care adjustments.

    August 8, 2019: Community Meeting on Updated Site Plan

    ACPS and the team designing the swing space for Douglas MacArthur at the Patrick Henry School site presented an updated concept that includes 20 more parking spaces. The addition was in response to concerns expressed by the CollaboAugust 8th Meeting ration Committee and community members that there would be too few. There will be a total of 197 parking spaces in the concept submitted for the Development Special Use Permit Amendment with the City. But this can change during the DSUP process. Community members appreciated the presentation and raised questions about which school would start the day first and how traffic would flow; and they asked for increased early and after school care to help parents with the adjusted start and finish times.

    ACPS and the team designing the swing space for Douglas MacArthur at the Patrick Henry School site presented an updated concept that includes 20 more parking spaces. The addition was in response to concerns expressed by the Collaboration Committee and community members that there would be too few. There will be a total of 197 parking spaces in the concept submitted for the Development Special Use Permit Amendment with the City. But this can change during the DSUP process. Community members appreciated the presentation and raised questions about which school would start the day first and how traffic would flow; and they asked for increased early and after school care to help parents with the adjusted start and finish times.

    July 10, 2019: Swing Space Update

    This event was followed by a meeting of the Collaborative Committee. Two chairs were selected for this project: Michael Doney, who represents Patrick Henry, and Dana Chambers, a Douglas MacArthur representative. concept for the swing space

    Committee members discussed the concept design and heard about the community's reaction from the earlier event. They identified concerns, challenges and opportunities to work on including: options to expand parking, keeping some green space and providing safe emergency evacuation routes for students and staff. They did not set a date yet for the next session. 

    Concept includes:
    • approximately 170 parking spaces - an addition of roughly 90 spaces
    • shifted parking lot on the east end for sidewalk along east side of the property to Patrick Henry building so students do not have to cross drive aisles
    • site circulation to allow for emergency vehicle access and pulling parent queuing off of Taney Avenue and Latham Street so parents drop off within the site and not on the street


    Stay tuned for additional details on our website: www.acps.k12.va.us/swingspace.

     
    June 5, 2019: Collaborative MacArthur and Patrick Henry Swing Space Committee

    June 3, 2019: Collaborative MacArthur and Patrick Henry Swing Space Committee

    View Presentation (PDF)

    The meeting included:

    • A discussion of the role of the committee;
    • The role of James K. Polk Elementary School and PTA in the committee going forward;
    • An outline of how the committee was selected; 
    • A proposal to hold community meetings prior to the Collaborative MacArthur and Patrick Henry Swing Space Committee meetings so that the committee can hear what the community has to say before it takes actions to resolve the issues raised;
    • A outline of the traffic study and potential walking issues that will require solutions;
    • Frequency of the meetings that will be held when ACPS has specific information to share or specific issues to resolve;
    • ACPS would like the committee to review the site plans prior to submission that will require meeting in July/August;
    • The work that will be required by the committee following any DSUP amendment in November.

    Update: May 21, 2019: Superintendent's Patrick Henry and Douglas MacArthur Collaborative Committee

    ACPS is establishing the Superintendent's Patrick Henry and Douglas MacArthur Collaborative Committee.

    The goal is to be able to meet the needs of both Douglas MacArthur Elementary School and Patrick Henry School as we begin the work to update the old Patrick Henry building and use it as swing space for MacArthur.

    This group will incorporate some of those who have previously served on the expired Patrick Henry Advisory Group who wish to continue to serve, as well as inviting further representation from Douglas MacArthur and Patrick Henry, including incoming PTA presidents from each; staff members from each; RPCA representation; a community liaison from a civic association that covers the Douglas MacArthur area; and a School Board member and/or City Council member who represents each school.  

    The role of the committee will be to:

    • Represent interests that support a successful visiting occupancy of Douglas MacArthur on the Patrick Henry site
    • Identify concerns and challenges of the dual use
    • Propose solutions as they arise during the dual occupancy
    • Facilitate positive relationships between the two schools and communities

    The group will meet monthly, with the first meeting on Monday, June 3, 2019 in the library at Patrick Henry School from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

    April 1, 2019: Swing Space Meeting - Patrick Henry Elementary School 

     

    March 20, 2019: Swing Space Meeting - Douglas MacArthur Elementary School (2:45 PM) 

    March 20, 2019: Swing Space Meeting - Douglas MacArthur Elementary School (5:30 PM)

    March 20, 2019: Swing Space Meeting - James K. Polk Elementary School

    March 19, 2019: Swing Space Meeting - Patrick Henry Elementary School

    Swing Space Community Meeting

    ACPS will be giving updates on the swing space project and soliciting feedback at community meetings throughout the double occupancy of the site. The first of these open community meetings will be on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Patrick Henry School in the cafetorium from 6 p.m to 7 p.m.


    ACPS will be using the old Patrick Henry school building as a swing space during the modernization of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, as approved by the school board on April 4, 2019.

    • ACPS commits to work with the City of Alexandria to further examine the plan's impact on traffic and student drop-off, and to make needed adjustments to alleviate traffic concerns.
    • ACPS commits to work with the City of Alexandria to further examine the plan’s impact on parking, and to identify, in advance of the Douglas MacArthur move-in, both on-site and off-site options that will ensure adequate parking for school staff and parents of both schools, and members of the community.
    • ACPS commits to demolish the old Patrick Henry school upon completion of the new Douglas MacArthur Elementary School.
    • ACPS commits to immediately explore the feasibility of renovating/replacing George Mason Elementary School and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology while the existing school sites remain in operation, and to identify alternative (non-Patrick Henry) swing space options for those sites in the event swing space is needed.
    • ACPS commits to working with the City of Alexandria, including its Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities (RPCA), to identify possibilities for enhancement of neighborhood open spaces and playgrounds that could be used by students and community members.

    What’s next?

    ACPS is in the process of working out the specific details. Operational plans will include parking, traffic flow, safety issues, playground upgrades and completion, and upgrades needed to the Patrick Henry building to ensure it is in good condition by the time Douglas MacArthur students arrive there to begin the 2020-21 school year. Information will be shared as it becomes available.

    Early Fall 2019: ACPS will present the specifics of the plan to the Planning Commission and City Council to ensure our plan complies with the City’s requirements for temporary occupancy.