The High School Project aims to rethink the way we are delivering our high school education and, at the same time, solve space issues that come with a growing student body.
Our City is growing and will face the challenge of educating up to 5,000 students over the next five-to-ten years. Since the summer of 2018, ACPS has been exploring innovative ways to solve our future capacity issues and at the same time redefine the high school experience to create a high quality, meaningful and applicable education for every student in our community.
On September 26, 2019, the School Board voted to expand Alexandria City High School into a Connected High School Network by building a new building on the site of the Minnie Howard Campus.
The Educational Design Team, that met during the summer of 2019 to develop educational programming concepts, has been expanded and will continue to meet to create programming for the new high school experience. Industrial Advisory Boards made up of local business, government and organizations representing four major industries and 16 career clusters will work with the Career and Technical Education Advisory Panel to provide input to the Education Design Team to ensure courses of study reflect real world current and future needs. ACPS is hopeful that partnerships and internships will emerge from the relationships forged in this work. Ultimately, we hope to include Higher Education partners as well. Partnerships that involve both industry and University are the best way to deliver learning that supports every kind of student - those on their way to college and those heading into the workforce. ACPS is continuing to work with Northern Virginia Community College on an Early College program, and Virginia Tech on a program on ACPS land at Potomac Yards Innovation campus.
At the same time, ACPS staff will work with architects, consultants and the City to design and build a new high school structure at the Minnie Howard Campus.
If we do this successfully, we will be not only be redefining the high school experience for ACPS, but also delivering a direction for Alexandria. Our students are the future; their experiences and skills will ultimately define our city.
On April 8, 2021, the School Board voted for the Pinwheel Concept as the design for the new Minnie Howard. The project will now enter the Schematic Design Phase.
On May 17, 2021, the High School Project team began the Development Special Use Permit (DSUP) process started with a Concept I and II submission to the City. Community meetings will be held as the schematic design phase continues.
In June 2021, City Council approved additional funding for an aquatic facility at Minnie Howard. ACPS also recieved the schematic design submission from architects Perkins Eastman. The project is now in the design development phase.
In July 2021, Gilbane Building Company joined the team as the Construction Manager at Risk and started collaboration on preconstruction efforts. Conversations with stakeholders continued as the design development phase continues.
In August 2021, the project team continued to refine the site design, and a layout for the aquatic facility was selected. Loring Engineering Consultants joined the team as the commissioning agent, and an RFP for an external project management support partner was released. The design development phase is ongoing.