The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the use permit for the expansion project at Abingdon Elementary in late September 2015, and Arlington Public Schools is well into the construction phase. The renovation and expansion is designed to modernize Abingdon and address overcrowding issues by adding 136 classroom seats. The project is projected to be completed in time for the opening of school in the fall of 2017.
The board had approved the Abingdon expansion and renovation as part of this year’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The FCA supported Abingdon’s request for funding. Funding for the Abingdon project, projected at $28.75 million, was approved by Arlington voters in November. A community briefing was held last year to provide an opportunity to introduce the community and neighbors to the design project process and the design team. The meeting also provided a chance to review the scope of the project and the project schedule, and discuss how the community can communicate with APS representatives during the design process.
The FCA Board unanimously approved a concept design resolution in support of the expansion of Abingdon Elementary, which was sent to the Arlington County School Board for vote in March 2015.
Once a general design scheme was developed, there was a “gallery walk” for the community with architectural drawings and APS and design staff on hand to answer questions.
The project now has a page on the Arlington Public School website. Go to the APS site (www.apsva.us), click on About Us, then Departments, then Design and Construction, and then find Abingdon on the sidebar. A shortcut link is http://www.apsva.us/Page/27080. The page now has the minutes from the last BLPC meeting. To view the PowerPoint presentation that the engineering consultant gave at that meeting, go to http://www.apsva.us/cms/lib2/VA01000586/Centricity/Domain/105/090614%20Abingdon%20ES%20-%20BLPC%2001.pdf.
A Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) worked on plans for renovating and expanding Abingdon Elementary School. The committee, which represents the interests of the community and parents along with school leaders, works with the Arlington School Board and the engineering and architecture team in crafting the general design of the project. The school board appointed the committee in early September 2014, and the group held its first session later in the month.
The committee advised the school board on things like the schematic design for the building and how it will fit on the school property, the potential community uses of the building and the impact of the project on the community, safety and accessibility issues, and construction schedules.
Fairlington residents constituted a majority of the committee. FCA has two representatives: Carol Dabbs and Anne Wasowski. Dabbs is the FCA Secretary, while Wasowski is an at-large director on the Fairlingon Villages condo board.
The Abingdon PTA also has six members on the committee: PTA co-presidents Jennifer Davies and Andrew Vitoles, and parents Traci Gravelle, Michelle Diller, Emily Janka, and Jasmine Hayes. All of them are Fairlington residents. Other members include Principal Joanne Uyeda and other Abingdon staff and teachers, along with representatives of the Claremont and Columbia Forest civic associations. Members of Courtbridge are being invited to join.
The committee met twice a month for four to six months and meetings were open to public observation.
In addition to the BLPC, the Abingdon project was reviewed by a Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC), which reports to the Arlington County Board. Vice President Kent Duffy represented FCA on that committee. Read the letter outlining its concerns about the APS use permit application for Abingdon Elementary.
For more information please email Abingdon.firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our Project Manager, Ajibola Robinson at 703-228-7738 or by email at Ajibola.Robinson@apsva.us. You can view the presentation from the October 30 meeting at www.apsva.us/moreseats/abingdon.
Senior Project Manager
HEERY International, Construction Manager
Arlington Public Schools
The FCA and Fairlington have a long-standing relationship with Abingdon Elementary School and its Project GIFT and Wheel Classes.