Email signup

Long-awaited Falls Church High School renovation proceeds to construction

Falls Church High School is finally going to get some upgrades.

The Fairfax County School Board unanimously approved a $133.6 million contract for the construction firm Grunley Construction Company, Inc. on Thursday (April 14), ensuring that a renovation project that community members have sought for more than a decade will actually happen.

“The Falls Church community has been waiting for a very, very long time for this,” Dr. Ricardy Anderson, who represents Mason District on the school board, said before the vote.

The renovation will add approximately 126,000 square feet of space to the building at 7521 Jaguar Trail, including new science labs, a music wing, an expanded gymansium, a new library, adminstrative offices, and a new entry specifically for the Falls Church Academy.

Expected to be completed in summer 2026, the future school will be 429,000 square feet in size with the capacity for 2,500 students, according to Fairfax County Public Schools’ current capital improvements program.

FCPS added the project to its renovation queue in 2009 but ranked Falls Church as the high school least in need of upgrades, prompting questions about equity and the fairness of the evaluation process.

Despite reports of crumbling facilities, insect infestations, mold, and other problems at the school, which was built in 1967 and last renovated in 1989, the project did not receive funding for planning and design until the 2017 school bond.

Voters approved about $130 million for construction as part of the 2021 school bond, but that wasn’t the end to the project’s troubles: at a community meeting on Feb. 3, parents noticed that a new parking lot proposed at the current site of the school’s softball field had been suddenly removed from the presented site plan.

The Falls Church High School renovation site plan (via FCPS)

At Thursday’s school board meeting, Anderson thanked parents for bringing the issue to her and Providence District Representative Karl Frisch’s attention. She said they were able to work with FCPS staff to restore the original site plan, presented in April 2021, “without any delay.”

Frisch said the incident illustrated the importance of “robust community engagement.”

Construction on the renovation is expected to start this spring and will unfold in three phases over four years, including one summer when the gym will have to be closed, according to Annandale Today.

Prior to the vote on the construction contract, Frisch recalled attending a community meeting in 2019 where a project design team shared drawings of the envisioned future Falls Church High School.

“The community still didn’t believe it was going to happen, because they’d been waiting for that long,” he said. “This vote is putting our money where our mouth is, and it’s proof that it’s going to happen.”

Recent Stories

Good Thursday evening! Today we published 8 articles that were read a total of 9238 times on FFXnow alone, so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles…

This past week saw 145 homes sold in Fairfax County. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $152,500 while the most expensive…

The Fairfax Board of Supervisors recently got a preview of what future transit connections between Tysons and Maryland could look like. At a transportation committee meeting on Tuesday (Jan. 31),…

Getting court time at Glyndon Park in Vienna may be tougher going forward for pickleball players. In the hopes of alleviating noise complaints from nearby residents, the Vienna Town Council…

Need help dealing with anxiety, depression or stress?

If you’re struggling to cope with anxiety, depression or stress, our virtual psychotherapy services can help. We offer a confidential and convenient service that’s tailored to your needs.

In our practice, cognitive behavioral therapy (or CBT) is an important tool we use to provide effective relief for those facing anxiety and depression. We believe that cognitive change can be used to improve behaviors and emotions, thus allowing you to achieve mental wellness. By understanding the cognitive distortions that lead to negative thought patterns, we are able to create interventions tailored to each of our clients. This empowering approach can help you gain control of how your own thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors impact your experience. With CBT, our service provides an effective treatment that can bring long-term change and mental stability.

Book a free consultation today and see how we can help you live a happier and healthier life.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list