The Alexandria School Board approved its 2024-2033 Capital Improvement Program budget on Thursday night, paving the way for construction of new schools, swing space and significant renovations over the next decade.
After a series of work sessions and public meetings this fall, the Board approved the $461 million proposal, with $58.7 million to be used next year.
“It is critical that we give our students the best opportunity to succeed by providing optimal learning environments and the resources to support their well-being and academic achievement,” School Board Chair Meagan Alderton said in a press release.
The fiscal year 2024 CIP budget is $37 million less than last year’s approved proposal, although that’s only because the Alexandria City High School Project funding.
In fact, development costs have risen sharply. The school system is contending with price jumps up to 200%, ACPS reported.
Between last year and this year, cost estimates for the design and project management for the new George Mason Elementary School increased from $16 million to $17.4 million when the project begins in FY 2024. Construction estimates for the school have also jumped from $64 million to $82 million.
The budget also includes $5 million to retrofit the office building at 1703 N. Beauregard Street as swing space while George Mason and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology are completely rebuilt. George Mason students would transition to the swing space in fall 2024 and move into their new school in fall 2027, and Cora Kelly students would move to the swing space in fall 2027, and move into a newly built school in fall 2031.
The Capital Improvement Plan budget includes the following projects for FY 2024:
- $17.4 million for George Mason Elementary School design, project management and other construction costs
- $5.5 million for the renovation of the fifth and sixth floors of Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School
- $5.1 million for the retrofit of the swing space at 1703 N. Beauregard Street
- $5 million for repair work at William Ramsay Elementary School
- $2.5 million for renovations at Francis C. Hammond Middle School
- $2 million in transportation system upgrades
- $1.5 million for emergency repairs
- $1.3 million for renovations at George Washington Middle School
- $1.2 million for Alexandria City High School stadium renovations, security enhancements and stormwater improvements
- $1.2 million for textbook replacements
The CIP budget will be included in Interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt’s proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget to the Board next month. The School Board will approve the budget in February, and it then goes to City Council for final adoption in May.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.