Arlington School Board member James Lander

Arlington School Board member James Lander.

Arlington school officials say they are making progress in whittling down the costs of a new home for H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program.

School Board members hit the roof in August after planners came in with a projected cost of $100 million for the new facility – far higher than the $80 million first proposed – and sent chastened staff and a community planning group back to the drawing board.

Those efforts are bearing fruit, School Board Vice Chairman Nancy Van Doren said at the Oct. 7 meeting of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.

“A great deal of work has been done . . . to bring the project costs down,” Van Doren said, while suggesting more work may need to be done.

School Board members received an update on the planning effort Oct. 6, and are slated to see the concept design for the new school on Nov. 5.

As envisioned, the western Rosslyn building will hold the H-B Woodlawn program and the smaller Stratford Program, both moving from their current homes along Lee Highway.

The new building, likely to rise five stories, will sit on a 94,000-square-foot parcel bounded by Wilson Boulevard, North Quinn Street and 18th Street North. School officials plan to have facilities ready for students at the start of the 2019-20 school year.

When the Woodlawn and Stratford students move into the new home, their current compound will renovated and expanded, then revert to its original use as a neighborhood middle school.