Swing Space Study

Kids doing class work
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    ACPS is conducting a study to assess the feasibility of using of the old Patrick Henry School facility as temporary swing space to accelerate the modernization of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School and save the city up to $60 million.

    Demolition of the of the old Patrick Henry school facility has been put on hold until early April while all options are being explored. The recreation center will still be demolished as originally planned. If this option is deemed feasible, it would delay the completion of the fields and parking lot in front of the new Patrick Henry School and Recreation Center for up to four years.

    If deemed feasible, the site could be used to advance the modernization of Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, with design work beginning this year and construction as early as 2021. The modernization of the school, which was built in the 1940s with windowless classrooms and insufficient space for its 700 students, had been pushed back in the absence of suitable temporary swing space for the students and staff during the rebuild. If the old Patrick Henry facility is deemed feasible, Douglas MacArthur students and staff would relocate to the building for up to two years while their own new school is built.

    The study follows the January 2018 recommendations of the Ad-Hoc Joint City-Schools Facilities Investment Task Force which proposed advancing elementary modernizations if swing space could be identified. The Task Force concluded in that, “As fellow residents, we understand the importance of parks and open space for Alexandria, but as a city we must balance the short-term and temporary uses of space against our long-term goals” (Task Force Final Report [PDF]).

    ACPS is in the process of modernizing its aging elementary facilities in line with the goals of  ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan. Research has shown that providing high-quality learning environments can have a big impact on the ability of children to learn.

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    Meeting for Patrick Henry families: Tuesday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafetorium at Patrick Henry Elementary School, 4643 Taney Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22304.

    Meeting Douglas MacArthur families: Wednesday, March 20 at 2:45 p.m. in the library at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, 1101 Janneys Lane, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. 

    Meeting for Douglas MacArthur families: Wednesday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the library at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School, 1101 Janneys Lane, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. 

    Citywide Community Meeting: Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at James K. Polk Elementary School, 5000 Polk Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22304. You can also follow this meeting live on Facebook and via the ACPS website.

    Patrick Henry Advisory Committee Meeting: Monday, March 25, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry in the library.