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A planned apartment complex is set to have even more affordable housing.

Speakers at an Arlington County Board meeting on Tuesday were divided in their thoughts about the Board’s unanimous vote to approve 88 units of additional affordable housing at 1900 S. Eads Street, in the Crystal City area.

Most spoke in favor of the change, which will make 743 of 844 planned units at Crystal House Apartments affordable.

Area resident Ben D’Avanzo said many of his neighbors are seeing high rent increases and struggling to make ends meet. While he said the neighborhood “wasn’t thrilled” with the original approval process for the apartment complex, D’Avanzo has since come on board with the project.

“This is something that is incredibly important to approve and I urge you to do so,” he said.

But Stacy Meyer, vice president of the Aurora Highlands Civic Association, has had no such change of heart.

She pointed out that the complex’s planned affordable units lack previously proposed amenities such as full balconies and a rooftop pool — a shift that she sees as “unfair to its future residents.”

Meyer argued the county’s approach to updating the Crystal House site plan, initially approved in 2019, circumvented additional opportunities for input. By pursuing changes to each building as separate minor site plan amendments, she said, the plans did not receive additional oversight from bodies such as the Site Plan Review Committee.

“The county appears to be working without regard to the future residents, fiscal transparency, the neighborhood income impacts or equitability in schools,” she said. “It’s a heavy-handed approach that we believe needs tempering.”

A letter from the AHCA to the county argues this approach “leads to the slippery slope that produced the failed inequitable public housing of the last century.”

It also took shots at the design, saying it “looks like an economy hotel.”

“When it comes to publicly financed buildings, low-income housing residents deserve the same building quality as the market, just as low-income students deserve the same education and low-income patients deserve the same medical treatment,” the letter says.

To make this development possible, the Board approved a $12.2 million low-interest loan from the Affordable Housing Investment Fund to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH).

Board member Maureen Coffey noted that most of the planned units are for families and very low-income people, which she believes is key to meeting community needs.

“This is a really impressive and really important thing to do, to get that deep affordability, not just in a one-bedroom or a studio,” she said.

Amazon, which has its HQ2 near the Crystal House Apartments, has played a prominent role in this development project.

The company put up $381.9 million so that the nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy could purchase the 16-acre site in late 2020, stabilize rent for the 828 existing units and build more than 500 new units.

The purchase was part of its commitment to create and preserve affordable housing as rents rise amid its growing presence. Amazon later donated the land and development rights to the county.

Last January, the county selected APAH and Bethesda-based developer EYA to oversee construction of Crystal House Apartments’ new buildings. Construction is slated to begin in spring 2025 and finish by the end of 2027, per the county presentation this week.

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This spring, drivers may notice the county testing out a new road treatment to reduce speeding through left turns.

In the next month or two, the county will start installing small raised bumps called hardened centerlines along the yellow centerline at five local intersections. That’s according to Christine Baker, who coordinates Arlington’s Vision Zero efforts, which aim to eliminate road deaths and serious injuries by 2030.

Hardened centerlines are designed to make intersections safer for pedestrians by encouraging drivers to make wider, “safer and more predictable” left turns at slower speeds, without reducing traffic capacity, per an explainer for the pilot. Another goal is to increase the visibility of pedestrians in crosswalks.

Drivers will find the centerlines at five intersections that were chosen through crash hot spot reviews and other crash analyses showing these locations experience noticeable left-turn crash patterns, the county says.

The intersections — and the number of serious and fatal crashes they have seen between 2013-2023 — are:

  • Clarendon Blvd at N. Rhodes Street, between Courthouse and Rosslyn (three four severe-injury crashes, including three involving pedestrians)
  • Fairfax Drive at N. Randolph Street, in Ballston (six severe-injury crashes, equally split among pedestrian and angle crashes)
  • Columbia Pike at S. Dinwiddie Street, near Arlington Mill (26 severe-injury crashes and one fatal crash, including 10 pedestrian crashes and nine angle crashes)
  • Columbia Pike at S. Four Mile Run Drive, near Barcroft (a fatal pedestrian crash in 2019)
  • S. Kenmore Street at 24th Street S., in Green Valley (no data on critical and fatal crashes in the last decade)

“We are excited to be piloting new in-street centerline hardening devices in Arlington later this spring,” said a February Vision Zero newsletter announcing the pilot. “Hardened centerlines are a proven safety tool used to reduce turning speeds and increase visibility of pedestrians for turning motorists at intersections.”

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services will install the devices and collect data over the course of spring. This summer, the county will monitor how road users take to the new devices and collect feedback from the community before evaluating next steps in the fall.

Similar devices have been installed at numerous intersections in D.C.

A new report on crash “hot spots” in Arlington, published this month, says centerline hardening is also coming to Langston Blvd and Fort Myer Drive, in Rosslyn.


The old Harris Teeter in Ballston is set to close next month but shoppers won’t need to wait long to use the new location across the street.

Harris Teeter has posted signs around its old and new location announcing that its 600 N. Glebe Road location will close on Tuesday, April 2 at 2 p.m., with the new store at 624 N. Glebe Road opening at 9 a.m. the next day.

A Starbucks kiosk inside is also being built and will open on the same day as the grocery store, according to a spokesperson for Harris Teeter. The spokesperson noted there will be a free sampling event the day before the official grand opening.

Starbucks also confirmed the opening in a statement to ARLnow.

“Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are happy to confirm that we will be opening a new location at 624 N. Glebe Road in Arlington, VA in the spring of 2024,” a Starbucks spokesperson write. “This new Starbucks location is licensed and operated by Harris Teeter licensee.”

That will put the coffee chain in more direct competition with homegrown Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe on the western side of Glebe Road. Starbucks will also compete with itself — its location at 4000 Wilson Blvd, which opened less than a year ago, is about 2-3 blocks away.

ARLnow reported last month that the Georgia-based developer, Southeastern Real Estate Group, LLC, started leasing the 310 apartment units above the new store last fall and was close to completing the first phase of its three-phase development. Construction on the apartments, dubbed URBAbegan in 2020.

The first phase was initially slated to finish last fall, with the second phase expected to start in the summer of 2024. Southeastern and Harris Teeter have not given a timeline for the start of phase two.

After the new Harris Teeter opens and the old site is demolished, the remaining 733 planned apartments will be built.

The second phase includes 197 apartments and a 0.6-acre public park on the existing Harris Teeter site. The third phase will add another 226 apartments and more than 10,000 square feet of retail space, for a total of 77,575 square feet of retail across the development.

The development also includes underground parking with 942 spaces and the extension of N. Tazewell and N. Randolph streets.


Signs for the new Ballston Harris Teeter are up, signaling that the first phase of the three-part project is nearing completion.

Last month, the owner applied for an occupancy permit for the new grocery store, which tenants do before they can officially move in. Inspection is still pending, per the county website.

Leasing began last fall for the 310 units above the new grocery store at 624 N. Glebe Road, developed by the Georgia-based developer, Southeastern Real Estate Group, LLC, per a website for the apartment complex. Construction on the apartments, dubbed URBA, began in 2020.

Additionally, Southeastern and Harris Teeter commissioned a mural by Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous that pays tribute to the legacy of the Ballston miniature golf course, which was a fixture along Wilson Blvd for over 50 years until its closure in 1989.

The rest of the planned 733 apartments will be built after the new Harris Teeter opens and the old building at 600 N. Glebe Road is torn down.

The second phase will include 197 apartments and a 0.6-acre public park where the current Harris Teeter stands. The third phase will add the remaining 226 apartments and more than 10,000 square feet of retail space, culminating in a total of 77,575 square feet of ground-level retail.

There will also be below-grade parking garages, with 942 parking spaces total. Southeastern will also extend the existing N. Tazewell and N. Randolph streets into the site.

The first phase of the project was initially expected to wrap up this past fall, with the next phase slated to begin in summer 2024. Southeastern did not respond before ARLnow’s publication deadline.


A custom stone cross was lifted into place on the Cathedral of St. Thomas More along Arlington Blvd this week.

To celebrate the placement of this feature, the highest point of the structure, the Diocese of Arlington held a “capping ceremony.”

Bishop [Michael] Burbidge blessed the cross and construction personnel, asking God to continue protecting them throughout their work, and invited them to a luncheon as a gesture of his gratitude for their devoted work,” said Billy Atwell, the chief communications officer for the diocese.

The new cross is one of many changes coming to the structure at 3901 Cathedral Lane, also home to a school. A suburban parish church retrofitted to serve as a cathedral, the house of worship is undergoing a year-long renovation project to better signal its status as the “mother church” for a half-million Northern Virginia Catholics and the seat of their bishop.

Atwell says the project started on time and will be completed before the altar is dedicated on Sept. 5.

Workers first repaired and replaced infrastructure systems such as heating and air conditioning. Since then, all interior walls have been repainted and a new marble floor for the sanctuary was installed.

“The exterior stonework is nearing completion, which already gives the cathedral a completely new appeal for those visiting or driving by the church,” Atwell said. “New stained-glass windows are being installed, and new liturgical furnishings, including an altar and a tabernacle, will be set into place.”

Meantime, craftsmen have been carving some dozen statues that will celebrate the multicultural communities within the diocese. The project, including the custom cross, was designed by Arlington-based sacred architecture firm O’Brien and Keane Architecture.

Atwell confirmed the project remains within budget, which includes the $15.3 million estimated for materials, construction, engineering and architectural costs.

“Bishop Burbidge has kept his commitments to ensure all donor gifts received were beyond their normal contributions to their parish, the diocese and Catholic Charities, that no debt would be incurred, and that no funds are being drawn from parish or diocesan accounts, including offertory and the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal.”

The cathedral renovations were timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Arlington, established in 1974. The diocese will undertake charitable works, still being discussed, and host three events to honor the project’s completion and the milestone anniversary.

First up is a Diocesan Jubilee Fest on June 8 at the Warren County Fairgrounds, boasting a Marian procession, Mass, games, music, rides and a fireworks show. Next, the renovated cathedral will be dedicated during a Mass on Sept. 5 unveiling the changes and celebrating the Golden Jubilee. Lastly, there will be a pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. on Oct. 5, presided over by Pope Francis’ emissary to U.S. bishops.


State-funded safety improvements to the Mount Vernon Trail are one step closer to getting underway.

The Arlington County Board is set to review on Saturday a memorandum of agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration governing the roles of the respective agencies throughout the project.

Some five miles of trail between Rosslyn and Tide Lock Park in Alexandria are set to be widened so that users have 5.5 feet of space in each direction, as opposed to the current 3.5 feet. One bridge near Theodore Roosevelt Island, the infamous wood plank Trollheim Bridge, and two bridges in Alexandria will also be rebuilt and widened.

Lastly, the S-curve at Daingerfield Island and four intersections — near Theodore Roosevelt Island and the Humpback Bridge, Crystal City connector and Four Mile Run trails — will be realigned to reduce conflicts. Construction is set to start in the 2026-27 fiscal year.

Four years ago this May, NPS, which administers the Mount Vernon Trail, released a study detailing its current conditions and recommending substantial upgrades. The study found that pedestrian and cyclist conflicts are significant along narrow and congested portions of the trail through Arlington County, particularly near Rosslyn and Crystal City.

The study also determined the intersection with the Four Mile Run Trail has high crash potential and recommended straightening the sharp S-curve at Daingerfield Island.

A few months later, the Arlington County Board gave the green light to apply for state funding for some these recommended upgrades. In 2021, the state awarded the project $29 million from its discretionary transportation capital funding program.

NPS will chip in $4 million to cover the difference between estimated project costs and the state’s allocation and will cover any budget overages. Already, it has conducted public engagement on the project and will continue to do so as the project progresses through the conclusion of design and into construction, the county report says.

The agreement set for review this weekend must be approved for NPS to access the funding, according to the county.

As part of the agreement, Arlington County will appoint a project manager tasked with making sure the project stays within the scope of what the state approved. The county will also approve the final designs, which are nearly 30% complete so far.

Additionally, the County Board will review a separate agreement that includes Alexandria, pertaining to the trail portions that fall within its city limits.

Scope of Mount Vernon Trail improvements (via VDOT)

(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Arlington County is home to one of the busiest Goodwill donation centers in the country and this location, on S. Glebe Road, is now being teed up for redevelopment.

Last week, Planning Commission members recommended the Arlington County Board approve plans from Goodwill and affordable housing partner AHC to redevelop its storefront with a 6-story building consisting of a new retail and donation center, 128 units of affordable housing and space for a child care center.

The Board is set to review the proposal — which includes requests to rezone the property and label it a “revitalization area,” a designation intended to boost AHC’s application for low-income housing tax credits — on Saturday.

Still, some criticism over pedestrian safety for elderly residents and children tempered that enthusiasm, as did questions to affordable housing partner AHC Inc. about its ability to manage an affordable community following livability issues residents and advocates revealed at the Serrano Apartments on Columbia Pike.

“There’s just so much to love about this project,” said Planning Commissioner Leo Sarli. “We cannot have enough housing… childcare or upcycling — which is what Goodwill does — which again, keeps things out of landfill and has a massive environmental impact.”

Despite all this, he had lingering pedestrian safety concerns around the site entrance, given all the foot and vehicular traffic that apartments, retail and childcare are expected to generate. This led him to propose that the Planning Commission recommend the County Board defer its approval until Goodwill addresses them. While other commissioners likewise stressed their pedestrian safety concerns, his motion failed 9-1, with one abstention.

They later supported a resolution from Vice-Chair (and Arlington County Board candidate) Tenley Peterson to recommend county staff continue to work with the applicant to design streets around the building that use “pedestrian-forward design practices.”

“We don’t want to let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” she said. “This project offers so much value to the community.”

Land use attorney Andrew Painter said the proposal actually improves pedestrian safety by separating donor, resident and retail traffic, reducing surface parking from 54 spaces to four accessible ones and closing one of two existing site entrances.

Goodwill site circulation (via Arlington County)

County staffer Kevin Lam, meanwhile, assured Planning Commissioner members that transportation staff thoroughly reviewed the proposal and do not believe the site poses a significant safety issue, though it is a “conflict point between pedestrians and vehicles.”

Like Peterson, the Transportation Commission approved the project, though several had pedestrian safety concerns. Chair Chris Slatt said commissioners hope these are addressed post-approval and commended Goodwill for transportation upgrades it has committed to, including one-way parking access, fewer surface parking spaces and a wider, raised sidewalk across the driveway.

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Two development proposals in Clarendon and Virginia Square are facing delays.

Last week, ARLnow reported that St. Charles Catholic Church was suspending its church redevelopment plans for now, citing economic conditions. Two other projects nearby likewise cite the country’s economic outlook as one reason progress is taking longer than expected.

One project replacing the Wells Fargo bank — which saw a notable attempted robbery last year — and its parking lot, led by developer Jefferson Apartment Group, is expected to pick up the pace soon. The other, from the YMCA, may take a bit longer.

For both, Arlington County is waiting on revisions to their site plan applications, according to Dept. of Community Planning, Housing and Development spokeswoman Erika Moore.

JAG proposes to demolish the bank and build a 12-story, 238-unit apartment building with 67,000 square feet of office and 30,000 square feet of retail space, including a replacement bank, which will no longer have a drive-thru. The Verizon telephone switching station will remain, screened from view.

The last public review opportunity for the Wells Fargo development was a site plan review committee (SPRC) meeting last April. Since then, says Moore, staff have not requested any major changes, however, “the developer has been reconsidering the proposed mix of uses on the site.”

She added that the developer has signaled it will soon file a revised site plan for the property, at 3140 Washington Blvd and 1025 N. Irving Street.

“Jefferson Apartment Group continues to advance the 4.1 site plan for the mixed-use redevelopment of the Wells Fargo/Verizon site in the Clarendon area of Arlington County,” JAG Senior Vice President Greg Van Wie said in a statement. “JAG has made some important changes to the plan and will resubmit to the County in the coming weeks.”

Economic conditions have forced the developer to move the start of construction, however.

“While market conditions have created financing challenges, JAG remains committed to commencing the project later this year,” Van Wie said.

Meanwhile, the development team for the Y continues to address comments from county staff made last summer but has yet to refile plans, project attorney David Tarter told ARLnow.

“The YMCA proposal remains active and underway,” he said. “Although it has taken longer than expected, the Y believes that all the input, thought and effort will make it a better project.”

The Y proposes a 7-story, 374-unit apartment building as well as a new 87,850-square-foot recreation center facility with indoor swimming pools, three indoor pickleball courts and convertible courts for squash, handball and racquetball, as well as fitness and multipurpose spaces. Tennis courts were axed last summer to the chagrin of some members.

He said the project is complex as it includes a new YMCA and apartment building “on a site with a steep grade and other issues.”

“Increased interest rates and other economic headwinds also present challenges, particularly for a non-profit,” he added. “We have additional work to do, but look forward to providing a new state-of-the-art facility and programing to better serve the broader Arlington community.”

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) Even in the era of Missing Middle, some duplex projects in Arlington have to go to the Arlington County Board for approval.

A proposal to build two side-by-side homes for sale at 1129 N. Utah Street, a few blocks from the Ballston Metro station and Washington-Liberty High School, is one such project.

Although the 2-story, single-family home set for demolition is in a “townhouse district,” only a single-family home can be built by right. McLean-based developer BeaconCrest Homes must go through the county’s longer, more intensive review process — typically reserved for larger-scale projects — to obtain approval for its proposed semi-detached home. It will have two 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath homes, each 2,600 square feet, with private outdoor spaces and 2-car garages.

“Given the property’s location and immediate surrounding uses, we felt it deserved to be more than a single dwelling and chose to pursue the 2-unit, semi-detached route,” said BeaconCrest representative Derek Huetinck. “Wrapping up, we continue to believe that the project before the Planning Commission is a better fit for the neighborhood, and more closely aligned with the county’s housing needs than the by-right option.”

It is a quirk that may come down to how the neighborhood and county zoning codes developed.

The brick home at 1129 N. Utah Street was built in 1948. While the first mention of “townhouse dwelling districts” appears to be Arlington’s 1969 Zoning Ordinance, it was not until the 2002 ordinance that the designation “R15-30T” — the type of townhouse dwelling district this home finds itself in — entered the code.

The 2002 code says this new district responds to the need for more transit-oriented development. Still, the code requires site plan approval by the County Board for 2-unit semi-detached homes and 3-unit townhouses, meaning these was never a by-right option, though the district’s name suggests a preference for this housing.

Today, several townhouses, along with some 3-story apartment buildings, line N. Utah Street, except for the “hold out” property in question, as Planning Commissioner Daniel Weir described it last week.

Townhouses on N. Utah Street (via Google Maps)

Now that property owners can build 2-6 unit homes by right in what were once single-family-home-only districts, the added hoops in a townhouse district — unchanged by the Missing Middle ordinance — prompted staff and the Planning Commission to give the N. Utah Street project an abridged process, with targeted outreach to immediate neighbors and more informal meetings.

The developer worked with neighbors who had critiques regarding the façade, which BeaconCrest worked to address, per a county report. Only one person, the president of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association, expressed concerns about the shortened process.

Last week, Planning Commissioner Jim Lantelme lobbied for zoning code revisions to streamline this process even more.

“The process really is not the way to go for small projects. It just unnecessarily adds a lot of expense for both delay and money,” he said, asking county staff what the commission and county can do to make this process more efficient.

He recommended that the Planning Commission Chair and Vice-Chair voice support for tasking staff with streamlining the process for these districts. That discussion should take place, he said, during an upcoming work session when the Board, Planning Commissioners and the county’s planning division meet to discuss priorities for this year.

“It’s time,” he said. “I mean, we need housing.”

County planner Matt Pfeiffer said it is possible that denser residential districts as a whole will be revisited at as part of a planned Multifamily Reinvestment Study, “when and if that comes forward.”

“That’s something that we can take back and think about some more,” he said.

Addressing BeaconCrest, Lantelme said: “I’m glad you’re doing this but you shouldn’t have had to go through this. The expense just is not worth what you could if if you built the same thing in a [low-density] district… by right. And that just doesn’t make any sense to me.”


One meeting down and two more to go before recommendations could emerge for a new name to adorn the forthcoming Arlington Career Center building.

Arlington Public Schools last month created a naming committee to discuss potential names for the new building, which will house the Arlington Career Center and the handful of programs within it, including Arlington Tech. As the committee has just starting meeting, no contenders have yet emerged for the building on S. Walter Reed Drive, slated for completion in the fall of 2026.

“It’s been a really great learning experience because we found out that there are clear criteria for how you name a new building in Arlington,” such as inclusive discussions with the community and a pick that reflects its values and the education happening inside, says Margaret Chung, the principal of the Arlington Career Center (ACC).

“Whether you’re within or without from outside, when you hear that name it’s like ‘Ah yeah, I get it, that’s who you are,” she continued.

Monica Caldera, the ACC diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator, says that starting this conversation has helped administrators “to see many perspectives about changing the name and what that means to people.”

The building name matters to ACC staff, who say the Career Center inside is set apart from Arlington’s comprehensive high schools by its name and function. While it offers more career-readiness programming than a typical high school, it is not a “vocational” school, per se.

“I think the term vocational gets into people’s minds of, ‘Oh ok, so you’re only going to go into a shop and you’re going to learn that skill and then you’re going to go out and do that skill, ” said Michelle Van Lare, the program coordinator for Arlington Tech. “And it’s really limiting to a high school student to be told that’s the track that you’re on.”

Instead, she says, ACC offers hands-on programs to students in grades 9-12 that teach skills necessary for their academic or professional goals.

“You can be in auto mechanics and in physics at the same time and learning the same material, but in one you’re actually doing it and in the other one, you’re sitting in the classroom writing about it,” said Van Lare. “That’s how we learn.”

In addition to its core curriculum, Arlington Public Schools offers Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses students either take at the Career Center or at their local high school. About half of all students in grades 9-12, or 4,000, take CTE courses, with 1,000 students either enrolled at the Career Center or traveling to and from there for a course, Career, Technical and Adult Education Director Kris Martini told the School Board last month. ACC students can also take dual-enrollment classes and graduate with an associate’s degree.

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Montessori Public School of Arlington on opening day in 2019 (file photo)

(Updated at 12 p.m.) An elementary school has become the next flashpoint in discussions of how Arlington Public Schools should use its existing buildings.

Last year, the Nottingham Elementary School community was roiled by a potential plan to close the school and turn the building into a “swing space” to accommodate students whose home schools were under renovation.

Directed to explore this option by School Board members, APS officials ultimately walked back the proposal: Middle schools needed the most attention and their student populations would not fit at Nottingham. Plus, parent opposition was fierce.

The focus has now shifted to the Montessori Public School of Arlington (MPSA) and plans to relocate it to the current Arlington Career Center site once the new building is finished next door.

Once located within Drew Model School, MPSA moved into the former Patrick Henry Elementary space in 2019 as that school community moved into a new neighborhood school, Fleet Elementary. The Patrick Henry building, meanwhile, is now showing its age at 50 years old.

“We have issues around physical space and with the HVAC system. We have had classrooms that are uninhabitable at various parts of the year but we don’t have anywhere else to go,” Jamey Borell, president of the PTA, tells ARLnow. “They are trying to make do with space heaters and fans… Our Montessori community is very good at making do.”

Of the 20-odd classrooms, 14 do not meet current educational specifications, according to School Board member Cristina Diaz-Torres, describing her recent visit to the school and discussing several issues, including corroding water heaters and a leaking roof.

“This building is falling apart at the seams. And if you walk through that building, it is very clear that… it was supposed to be temporary, and it should be temporary,” she said in a December School Board meeting.

Fellow parent Michael Bruno tells ARLnow the school community moved into Patrick Henry with this understanding, believing the MPSA would move into the legacy Arlington Career Center building after the new building is complete. Now, however, some attitudes have shifted.

Leaders from the County Council of PTAs and the Joint-Facility Advisory Committee, as well as two current and former School Board members, say this may not be the most financially sound course and more options should be explored. MPSA parents say APS should stick to its promise to move MPSA to the Career Center site and keep the program in South Arlington.

The diverging viewpoints emerged during public comments and a School Board discussion in December. In a rare split vote, members voted 3-2 to direct APS staff to explore and present low-, medium- and high-cost scenarios, not to exceed $45 million, for relocating MPSA into the Career Center building.

This means that staff will not explore other options off-campus as they develop the forthcoming 2025-34 Capital Improvement Plan, to be presented in May 2024. Building life span and use is top of mind for the School Board, which also directed Supt. Francisco Durán to include deep dive studies into how existing facilities should be renovated.

Current member Mary Kadera and now-former member Reid Goldstein voted against this direction.

“I really worry that our planning will be incomplete and short-sighted,” she said of the decision not to consider other locations for MPSA.

APS has to study additional scenarios, including how it could use some 1,000 open elementary seats around Arlington, if is going to be careful stewards of limited capital funds, she said. Current estimates put the cost of relocating MPSA to the Career Center at $39-45 million.

“[More study] might very well demonstrate that the best possible option is to house MPSA in the legacy building. I’m not arguing against that scenario,” Kadera said. “I am simply arguing that we owe it to the community to recognize our changing needs and circumstances and study the alternative.”

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