New Arlington elementary school

One possibility under consideration by Arlington school and county officials is to locate a new elementary school on the campus of Wakefield High School. The location of the new school is shown in purple, with Wakefield shown in tan.

Existing schools, community centers, parks and even a number of privately owned parcels remain in the mix as a task force wades through potential locations for a new elementary school in South Arlington.

The list has been pared to 11 options, with further culling to be done as the South Arlington Working Group continues its effort to have a final recommendation to the School Board by the end of the year.

The group was established by the School Board in June, five months the board saw its proposed location for a new school nixed by the County Board.

School officials sought to put the new school adjacent to Thomas Jefferson Middle School, but a coalition of neighborhood residents and park activists managed to scuttle that plan, at least in the short run.

The Thomas Jefferson site remains on the short list of proposed locations, with the task force also weighing pros and cons of putting the school adjacent to Drew Model School, Patrick Henry Elementary School, Wakefield High School and Gunston Middle School.

Also still in play: Aurora Hills Community Center/Virginia Highlands Park; Barcroft Park; Jennie Dean Park; and Walter Reed Community Center.

Two privately owned parcels remain under consideration: the River House Apartments in Pentagon City and a complex owned by Virginia Hospital Center on South Carlin Springs Road. The latter site possibly could be handed over to the county government in exchange for a government parcel on North Edison Street, which is being sought by the hospital for expansion purposes.

After a late-August meeting, members of the task force were asked to fill out an online assessment of each of the prospective sites. The group will reconvene Sept. 9 at Wakefield High School and meet again on Sept. 16 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and each running from 7 to 9 p.m.

School officials aim to have a new school – wherever it is located – up and running by the start of the 2019-20 school year. The additional space is needed to address continuing enrollment growth at the elementary-school level, which has been most acute in North Arlington but is now gravitating south.

Complete information on the planning process is available on the Web site at

(2) comments

Dave Schutz

Does anyone now remember that we TORE DOWN Old Wakefield, now that we are desperate for space two years later? Doing woulda, coulda brings to mind the idea the Old Wakefield could have provided space for a middle school (HB?) now that folks are giving the lie to the idea that the Wakefield campus could not have provided the space for another facility.

My own view is that we should acquire, by eminent domain, the Army-Navy golf course, and put needed facilities there.


What a huge charade. CPHD recently projected the County's population will grow by 66,000 over the next 25 years so APS will have to build at least a dozen new schools between now and then.

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