South Arlington Working Group Notes July 15 2015

South Arlington Working Group Meeting Notes

South Arlington Working Group to site a New Neighborhood Elementary School
Meeting #3 Minutes – July 15, 2015

South Arlington Working Group to Site a New Elementary School
Meeting #3 – County Sites
Wakefield High School Cafeteria 

Welcome/Recap – Greg Greeley

Greg welcomed the committee to the third meeting. The County staff in attendance introduced themselves; Bob Duffy, Director of Planning; Jane Rudolph, Director of Parks and Recreation; and Greg Emanuel Director of Environmental Services.  He also had the APS staff reintroduce themselves to the group. Information covered during the last meeting and guidelines for nominating sites for further study were reviewed.

Review “Homework” Assignment – Greg Greeley

Site Nomination Exercise
Greg asked each committee member to nominate a County site for possible new elementary school in S. Arlington and state the reason the site was nominated.   All of the following sites were mentioned before the dot exercise was done –

  1. Barcroft Park Site
  • No loss of parkland
  • Community could be used for gym and auditorium space
  1. Jennie Dean Park
  • Near a super stop for Metro Access – carless
  • Sent email through neighborhood group chat and neighborhood also suggests Jennie Deane Park
  1. Jennie Dean Park
  2. Barcroft Park
  • A lot of facilities there
  • Recreational spaces
  1. Jennie Dean and Barcroft
  2. Virginia Highlands Park
  • Community Center and library already on site
  1. Virginia Highlands Park
  • Area of need
  1. Jennie Dean and Virginia Highlands
  2. Walter Reed Community Center Site
  • Large plot of land
  • Not near other elementary schools
  1. Eads Park
  • Has good egress
  1. Barcroft Park
  • 2 parking lots plus 3 story garage
  1. Barcroft Park
  • Acreage
  1. Virginia Highlands / Aurora Hills Community Center
  2. Virginia Highlands – specifically softball fields
  • Won’t lose green space
  1. Virginia Highlands – any area
  • Locate soccer field on top of new school
  1. Virginia Highlands (first choice) / Jennie Dean (second choice)
  • Central location
  1. Gunston Community Center
  • Middle school already on site
  1. Walter Reed Community Center
  • Offers flexibility
  • Not near other elementary schools
  1. Non park locations should seriously be looked into, community centers okay
  • Caution against Four Mile Run area – flood prone
  • High cost in making area flood proof
  1. Aurora Hills
  • A lot of space
  1. Barcroft Park
  2. Jennie Dean
  3. Thomas Jefferson
  4. Walter Reed Community Center
  5. Long Bridge Park
  6. Ft. Bernard Dog Park
  7. Long Bridge Park
  8. Virginia Highlands
  • Build combination elementary school/community center
  • County should create a long term plan to purchase 6 homes that abut property
  1. Virginia Hospital Center land swap
    • County should seriously consider land swap of Edison Center property for Urgent Care property on Carlin Springs Rd.
  2. Gunston/Oakridge Site as a whole, including parkland

Review Nomination Results – Dot Exercise
After discussion, members used three dots to indicate choices for consideration.

  • Virginia Highlands/Aurora Hills -24 dots
  • Walter Reed Community Center Site – 17 dots
  • Jennie Dean Park – 15 dots
  • Barcroft Park – 15 dots
  • Long Bridge Park – 5 dots
  • Eads Park – 5 dots
  • Va. Hospital Center Property on S Carlin Springs Rd – 4 dots
  • Ft. Bernard Dog Park/Community Gardens – 2 dots

Questions/Comments from members – Wrap Up
  • The reports will include more than one school site, there would be primary and secondary locations.
  • Oakridge/Gunston school and community center should be nominated together.
    • Combine with Haley Park?
    • There are locations etc. that are sites that could be looked at around these areas that are public and private spaces that can be looked at together instead of one or the other. We should be looking at the totality of the location – the community center and Haley Park., for example.
    • Wants APS/County to address flooding –flooding will be an issue everywhere.
    • Are Storage facilities that aren’t used very often a possibility?
  • Gunston will be further studied – all the parameters surrounding it will be looked at – the community centers etc. – those areas are already essentially on the table.
  • WETA studios are in the middle of Jennie Dean park – felt Shirlington cannot lose the studio, it’s a big part of the Shirlington economy.
  • In reference to an ES on Jennie Dean Park site – it is near a well-used Dog Park with large dogs, do we want that around small children? We should think about that.
  • Walter Reed Community Center – if we moved the Pre-K and Kindergarten out of existing schools into local community centers and churches that would get rid of a lot of trailers at schools that are already present. If we built a school on Walter Reed then we would kill the park..
  • We should look at the flood plains and environmental sensitivities for all these areas – we should look at the community centers and park together and not as an either/or.
  • We should co-locate multiple facilities because of scarcity of land for building.
  • The Shirlington area is just outside the conservation area.
  • Power lines area – part of the area isn’t publicly owned.
  • Treat Virginia Highlands and Aurora Hills as one option .
  • We have info on where elementary schools are now, but what about children coming now darker colors will have a higher population, lighter colors will have a lower population.
  • In reference to Ft. Bernard Dog Park and utilization ilization of the area around the dog park. There is a water storage pump where the pipes and valves, tanks are under the ground – so  the area is being utilized underground.


Review/locate non-public sites in South Arlington. Be prepared to return on 7/29/15, with non-public sites to nominate for further analysis. 

Next Meeting: July 29, 2015, 7pm at Wakefield HS Cafeteria