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ACPS Submits Plan for New Jefferson-Houston to Planning and Zoning

The new 120,000-square-foot school is scheduled to open for the 2014-2015 school year.

Alexandria City Public Schools has submitted a plan for the new to the Department of Planning and Zoning.

The new 120,000-square-foot school will be built on the current site of Jefferson-Houston and is projected to open in the 2014-2015 school year.

Its budget is $44.2 million, which includes $38.7 million for construction and $5.5 million for costs related to design, project management and legal services. The School Board has asked City Council for an additional $2.3 million to pay for Head Start classrooms, which are not included in the $44 million budget. Additionally, another $850,000 is sought to pay for an artificial turf field after the current structure is razed.

Public hearings on the project’s special use permit are tentatively scheduled to go before the city’s Planning Commission and City Council in November.

The new school will serve pre-kindergarten and kindergarten through 8th grade and will include an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, which was selected by the surrounding community three years ago.

The current school was built 40 years ago with an open classroom model, “which was discarded as an appropriate educational model by experts in the 1980s,” according to an ACPS announcement, which adds that the building lacks energy efficiency and is not easily retrofitted to accommodate 21st century technology.

VMDO Architects of Charlottesville, Va., is leading the design team, Brailsford & Dunlavey is the project management leader and Jay Brinson is working as the Jefferson-Houston project manager.

One of the next steps will be the selection of a construction manager with construction expected to begin in April 2013.

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