The renovation and expansion of Dranesville Elementary School is slated to begin next year — despite some lingering concerns.
But the vote came as some commissioners questioned the need for the scope of the expansion.
Dranesville District Commissioner John Ulfelder, whose district includes the Herndon area, said the school’s current enrollment of around 588 students may not justify the intensity of the expansion, which would boost capacity to around 1,000 students.
“Is the school system aware of some big influx of students that will be coming to this elementary school?” Ulfelder asked, adding he was unsure why Fairfax County Public Schools was pursuing the project now when other schools have more dire capacity needs.
The school currently has the capacity to accommodate 756 students, according to the land use representative for FCPS, John McGranahan. He noted that the planned capacity boost would likely accommodate long-term enrollment.
Dranesville Elementary is about two miles north of the Town of Herndon, which anticipates significant population growth in the next 10 to 15 years.
“This is a full renovation, and the capacity enhancement, it is in the queue to be renovated,” said McGranahan, who is an attorney with Hunton Andrews Kurth.
The renovation will include modern amenities, a cafeteria, an expansion of the main corridor, new classrooms, a new library, a larger gym, a security vestibule and a relocation of the main office. The school first opened its doors to students in 1988.
“Most of the time, the school system gets criticized for buildng too little,” McGranahan added.
The renovations and additions were funded in a 2023 school board referendum and approved in the capital improvement program for 2023-2027. Construction is expected to begin next year and wrap up in 2026.
Funds to plan and design the expanded school were provided by a 2021 school bond, but the 2023 school board referendum that would fund construction needs to be approved by voters on Nov. 8.
Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina said Dranesville Elementary has long been slated for renovations, based largely on decisions made by the Fairfax County School Board and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“The school board and the Board of Supervisors have already acted,” Cortina said.
The project was identified in the school system’s renovation queue in 2009. It ranked 53 out of 63 projects in the queue.
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The Georgetown Visitation Masqueraders proudly present
Descendants The Musical
Art House 7 warmly welcomes you to our upcoming Fall 2 session of classes starting on October 30th. We’re thrilled to offer a diverse range of mediums and flexible class lengths, catering to a wide age range, starting from as young as 2, and, of course, providing a multitude of engaging options for adults!
Our classes cover an exciting spectrum of creative mediums, including fiber arts such as knitting, modern embroidery, crochet, and sewing. We also offer classes in ceramics on the wheel, drawing, watercolor, gouache, oil, acrylic, still-life painting, and captivating Japanese Suminagashi and printmaking. One of the highlights of this session is the highly anticipated 5-week “Painting the Portrait and Figure” workshop, led by the renowned local artist, Danni Dawson.
For our younger artists, we have specially designed classes like “Art Exploration through Impressionism” for students in kindergarten through 5th grade, an engaging “Art Together” parent-child class designed for 2–4-year-olds, and a “Teen Taught Art Club” tailored for kindergarteners through 4th graders.
The Ravel Dance Company will present the beloved holiday tradition The Nutcracker. It is Christmas Eve and the Stahlbaum family’s daughter Clara has received a Nutcracker from the mysterious toymaker and godfather Herr Drosselmeyer. Follow her journey through the Pine