Arlington County and Arlington Public schools have proposed building a temporary fire station and delaying the smaller Rosslyn Highlands Park replacement park construction about 2 years. This change seems to be mostly driven by a need for parking for school employees. A meeting is scheduled Wednesday, July 13 at 7 pm at the Arlington Education Center, 1426 N Quincy St, for APS to present the proposed plan details and respond to questions. You are encouraged to attend and voice your feelings if you have concerns about this proposed plan.
An FAQ has been generated by Arlington County Government answering questions about the proposed plan changes. You can read the full FAQ at this link: https://projects.arlingtonva.u...on-school-site-faqs/
Here are the details from that FAQ that describe the proposal:
How will the licensing agreement negotiated between the County and APS for the Wilson School site help realize the goals of the Western Rosslyn Area Plan?
The licensing agreement, if approved by both Boards in July, will facilitate redevelopment of the area addressed in the Western Rosslyn Area Plan. This plan, developed through an extensive community planning process with broad participation from County commissions, civic associations and other stakeholders, envisions a complex redevelopment of a key site in Rosslyn that will offer many public amenities. This is a rare opportunity for the County and APS to maximize joint use of our community’s limited public land — the sort of joint use advocated in the Community Facilities Study — while leveraging finances to accomplish a major planning effort. When fully developed, the site will include a new, modern fire station that will significantly improve Arlington’s public safety; a new, modern, urban-style school with a playing field; a rebuilt and improved Rosslyn Highlands Park; new mixed-use buildings, and a new 250-unit affordable multifamily residential building. These public amenities will help revitalize Western Rosslyn and serve our community for decades to come. APS and Penzance, a private developer, are developing the site. Originally, Penzance planned to develop a residential building (with the fire station on the ground floor), then build an office/hotel/residential site where Fire Station No. 10 now stands. Changes in market conditions and a shared desire among all parties to complete construction as quickly as possible have led the developer to pursue developing the entire parcel all at once, rather than in phases. A site plan for this development will be submitted to the County Board for its consideration later this year. Penzance’s new plan is to excavate the entire private development site (comprised of both the County- owned Fire Station No.10 and Rosslyn Highlands Park site, as well as the 1555 Wilson Boulevard site owned by Penzance). This approach would cut the period of construction adjacent to the new school from six years to three years. This plan can only be realized by temporarily relocating the current Fire Station No. 10, which sits on the planned Penzance construction site. The proposed licensing agreement will allow the County to put a temporary fire station on the Wilson site – where the new school’s field ultimately will be built. The project will save millions of dollars in bond debt that APS and the County will not have to assume to finance a new fire station, rebuild Rosslyn Highlands Park and build a parking garage for the new school. Penzance will build the new fire station (and the temporary fire station), at an estimated cost of $20 million, and rebuild the park. APS will have 100 parking spaces provided at the County’s expense in the Penzance parking garage. This will save APS approximately $5 million because it will not have to build a garage for the new school. A large portion of the funds included in the Capital Improvement Program for these projects now will be available to help meet the need to provide more seats for more students.