South Arlington Working Group (SAWG) NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

July 14, 2015 |

Oakridge Elementary School

Designated representatives from Aurora Highlands neighborhood are attending the South Arlington Working Group (SAWG). This group was formed to assist the School Board in determining the site for a new 725-seat neighborhood elementary school in South Arlington to be completed preferably by September 2019. The group is working with APS staff to evaluate and analyze site options for the new school. The neighborhood reps in the SAWG are acting as the voice of our community to decide where the new school should be located. If you have an opinion or an idea, now is the time to share it.

Oakridge Elementary School is currently the most overcrowded in Arlington, projected to be 775 students (101 students over capacity) in the 2015-16 school year and 861 students (187 students over capacity) by the 2019-20 school year. Not only is Oakridge the most overcapacity (by percentage), it is the largest in sheer number of students.
Here are highlights from the first two meetings:
Meeting #1 June 25 – Site Considerations 
The site location must meet the following requirements:
Building = About an acre and  3 or 4 stories tall;
Parking = About ¾ acre and  could be shared or underground Playground;
Green space = 1+ acres & could be shared.
Site Considerations in order of importance to the group:
1. Diversity Issues
2. Area of Greatest Need
3. Time Constraints
4. Programs
5. Green Space
6. Opportunities
7. Cost and Financing
8. Balancing Countywide and Local Needs; Traffic; Location within the County; Existing Conditions/Site Programs/Uses & Plans/Policies
9. Site Availability
10.Site Suitability; Storm Water
11. Accessibility; Opportunity Cost; Energy Conservation; Information Sharing and Communication; Facility Function and Impacts.
Meeting #2 July 1 – APS Properties 
Committee members were asked to analyze current APS properties and the ability to add new school at these sites.
Top four sites for further study include:
1. Claremont/Wakefield,
2. Drew
3. Henry
4. Oakridge/Gunston
Two second tier properties are:
1. Hoffman-Boston
2. Carlin Springs/Kenmore.
The TJ site is still also under consideration as part of the working group charge.
The following is the agenda for future meetings:
Meeting #3 July 15 – County Properties
We will discuss potential county owned sites where the school can be located. Sites suggested in our neighborhood include
1. Aurora Highlands Community Center
2. softball fields at Virginia Highlands Park
3. Eads Park.
Meeting #4 July 29 – Commercial Space / Non-county owned options 
We will address non-county or APS owned sites such as leased commercial space and/or properties to consider for purchase and use.
Meetings are open to the public and occur every two weeks on Wednesday evenings at Wakefield High School from 7:00 – 9:00pm.
*****County residents are encouraged to share their thoughts on site considerations and possible site locations at the SAWG website.
If you have further questions or would like to share your views on the subject, please reach out to your local representative. Here is the list of reps for our neighborhood:
-Aurora Highlands Civic Association – Bruce Cameron, Rep, Garrrett McGuire , Alt
-Arlington Ridge Civic Association – Beth Hicks (), Rep, Brenda Pommerenke, Alt
-Crystal City Civic Association – Judy Freshman , Rep., Sandra Borden, Alt
-Long Branch Creek Civic Assocation – Rose Breyault , Rep. Annemarie Schoen, Alt.
-Oakridge PTA – Shona Colglazier , Rep., Neena Gupta, Alt.
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