A child care center for Arlington Public Schools employees now has the green light to temporarily move to a Ballston office building.
The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on April 24 to approve an updated permit for The Children’s School, clearing the way for the nonprofit to relocate to the second and third floors of a building located at 4420 N. Fairfax Drive.
The co-op program has long operated out of the Reed School building in Westover, but, with APS officials planning to open a new elementary school at that site in 2021, The Children’s School has been forced to go elsewhere.
The program’s leaders are currently eyeing the former Alpine Restaurant property along Lee Highway as a permanent home for the daycare center, but they plan to start accepting students at the Ballston location this July while they work out the details.
The newly renewed permit for the program allows it to accept up to 200 children at the facility, and also allows the nonprofit to build a new playground behind the building.
Yet some residents of the condos at the Continental at Ballston, which sits directly behind the program’s new home, raised concerns with the County Board about how the childcare center could impact traffic and parking in the area.
The permit allows for parents picking up and dropping off students to circle around the building using small side street, then turn onto N. Vermont Street to return to N. Fairfax Drive. That prompted concerns that a steady stream of cars passing through in the morning and afternoon could cause headaches for Continental residents, but board members assured the public that they don’t expect any traffic problems with the program’s proposal.
“This is supposed to be a temporary solution,” said Vice Chair Christian Dorsey at the board meeting. “Conceptually, on paper, we think this is going to work just fine. And we have the fall back to know, if this doesn’t work, we can fix it.”
The board is set to review the center’s permit in April 2019, giving Arlington officials a chance to see if the new arrangement is working out for all involved.