(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Arlington Career Center plans remain on track after a contentious School Board vote late last week.
Two concepts that were presented will move to the schematic design phase after a 3-1 vote at Thursday’s meeting, which also cemented the project in the superintendent’s proposed Capital Improvement Plan, to be presented May 12.
The concepts are a $174.6 million “base” plan with 1,795 seats and a $158.3 million “alternative” plan with 1,345 seats.
The project, which could be the most expensive the school system has undertaken, will provide a new home to the county’s only career and technical education center, while potentially relieving some capacity pressure on Arlington’s comprehensive high schools.
Plans haven’t been solidified for the existing, aging Career Center building.
School Board member Mary Kadera casted the only dissenting vote, wanting to delay the project from moving forward until after the CIP passes.
She pointed to the unknown cost of repurposing or demolishing the existing Career Center and pressed the Board to carefully consider the project’s effect on debt service and ability to fund other projects — concerns also expressed by some nearby residents.
“We owe it to ourselves and the community to make decisions about its future within the context of our overall needs,” she said. “What are the down sides to the delay I requested?”
Chair Barbara Kanninen, the most senior member of the School Board, later appeared to admonish Kadera, who is in her first year on the board.
“I want my board colleagues to recognize that when you join the School Board, you’re not a candidate anymore. You’re not a commenter on social media or on ARLnow,” Kanninen said. “You’re heard when you speak and when you take action… And we need to be so aware of that. When we take action, that school communities hear us not supporting them, it’s heartbreaking.”
The Career Project project has been delayed in the past after the board pushed forward with ideas that proved too costly.
“We mustn’t make the same mistake again,” Kadera said.
Kanninen said the project is affordable and will not affect the school system’s other priorities.
“Everything that we had slated… everything we have on our list, infrastructure projects, HVAC, it is all already in this current three-year CIP,” Kanninen said. “We got this project in and there is still debt capacity and there is still $34 million in capital reserves.”
Kanninen added that if a more urgent project was introduced during the CIP process, APS can always adjust.
“The bottom line is we have this doubly verified number, we’ve never had this before, for this Career Center project going into the CIP,” she said. “We are solid with this number. We know what it is. We can work with it.”
Kanninen and the other two “yes” votes on the board — Vice Chair Reid Goldstein was not at the meeting — emphasized their commitment to building a new Career Center.
“For us to suddenly come back now and decide that we’re not going to do that would be irresponsible,” said Cristina Diaz-Torres.
The annual Army Ten-Miler race will prompt numerous road closures in Arlington this weekend. Runners will zip through parts of Rosslyn, D.C. and Pentagon City, starting and finishing the race…
Open Houses includes a 4 BD/2.5 BA brick home with newly refinished floors, brick fireplace and detached garage.
Nightlife venue Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is now back fully reopened after a million-dollar renovation. The five-year-old restaurant underwent a significant facelift over the last several months that added a…
On Saturday afternoon, Kent Carter left Arlington to celebrate his 40th birthday on Turks and Caicos, the Caribbean islands southeast of the Bahamas, with his long-time girlfriend. He was supposed…
Arlington kids can keep active this winter with Arlington County’s Department of Parks & Recreation’s Youth House Basketball League. Available for grades 1-12, this program begins in mid-November for grades 1-8 and early Jan. for grades 9-12 and costs between $75-90. Come join the fun! Sign up by Oct. 12*! Registration for grades 9-12 opens on Nov. 7. If the league fee is a factor to signing up, check out the Department’s fee reduction program, which helps Everyone, Everywhere, Every Day! Access for All. Easy to apply! Whether you have a short-term set back or something longer-term. Learn more at parks.arlingtonva.us/fee-reductions or call 703-228-4747.
Join Us on Monday, October 17, 2022, for our General Membership Meeting & Arlington County Candidate Forum led by the NAACP Arlington Branch Political Action Committee
Time: 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: Virtual on Zoom
Mini Family & Pet Photo Sessions
Beat the rush and sign up to get your holiday photos now!
Bring your kids! Bring your dogs!
Check out the DeSilva Studios website. Look at the images and see if you like them