Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Reston TOD development may require two new elementary schools and fill half a new intermediate and high school,

This December 2012 memorandum, which just became available to RCA Reston 2020, is from the County's school planning staff to the Department of Planning and Zoning and identifies the requirements for new schools that will be dictated by the implementation of "Scenario G," the Metro station area development proposal now on the Reston Task Force table.  It recommends the construction of two new elementary schools and indicates new intermediate and high schools will be needed between Reston and Rt. 28.  A key assumption of the letter is that the full development capacity of Scenario G is reached by the 2030 horizon--an unlikely outcome unless there is a dramatic change in the area's economic outlook.  The memo does not identify locations, timeframes, funding, staffing, or other issues pertaining to the construction of these schools.

It also discloses on the first page that South Lakes High School, already overcrowded, will have more than 800 students above capacity by the 2017-2018 timeframe.  It does not offer any recommendations to address this roughly 40% over capacity condition.  Meanwhile, the Fairfax Times reports that the County School Board is looking at changing the boundaries of Fairfax High School--which foresees a 600 student over enrollment in the same timeframe--to keep enrollment within 300 students of capacity.  And, of course, Thomas Jefferson High School is getting $90 million for renovations.  When will the Board look at either investing in the capacity and capabilities of South Lakes or changing its boundaries--a contentious process the school went through just 5 years ago?

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