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FCPS reveals more details of planned Dunn Loring Elementary School

Fairfax County Public Schools is seeking to build a four-level Dunn Loring Elementary School at Idylwood and Gallows Road (via Fairfax County)

Fairfax County Public Schools has settled on a path forward for its plan to construct a new elementary school in Dunn Loring.

A rezoning application recently submitted to the county proposes demolishing the existing Dunn Loring Administrative Center at 2334 Gallows Road and replacing it with a four-level school building that will be accompanied by athletic fields and playgrounds.

Allowed a maximum height of 65 feet, the four-story building appears to have triumphed over an alternate design that would’ve resulted in a shorter but more sprawling building of two to three stories.

The two-story administrative center started life as an elementary school in 1938, but it got repurposed in the 1970s after declining enrollment led FCPS to close the school, the school system’s legal agent in the case, Hunton Andrews Kurth associate Jessica Vara, wrote in a statement of justification.

“Now, the surrounding community is again in need of a new elementary school in the Dunn Loring area to relieve overcrowded schools in the Dunn Loring/Falls Church/Tysons area,” Vara wrote.

According to the submitted plan, the new school building will be approximately 125,905 square feet in size and be constructed at the corner of Idylwood and Gallows Road, occupying roughly the same footprint as the current building.

The building’s ground level will include music classrooms, workrooms, a cafeteria, a staff lounge and a reception area at the main entrance. The second floor will have kindergarten, third grade and special education classrooms, followed by art, first grade and second grade classrooms on the third floor, and fourth and fifth grade classrooms on the top floor.

FCPS has proposed replacing Murphy Field — the soccer field that currently covers the western portion of the nearly 10-acre site — with a dual soccer/softball field that will be supplemented by four playgrounds:

  • An approximately 8,295-square-foot modular playground
  • A 2,009-square-foot paved play area for kindergarteners
  • A 3,318-square-foot “creative” playground for pre-kindergarten students
  • An approximately 11,373-square-foot paved play area

Two new vehicle access points will be constructed on Idylwood Road, replacing the existing driveway off of Gallows Road. The school will have separate drop-off locations for buses and the kiss-and-ride “to minimize the potential for traffic issues,” according to the application.

The school’s parking lot will have 116 spaces, and bicycle racks will be provided. FCPS also plans to construct a new 5-foot-wide sidewalk to connect with the existing concrete path along Idylwood Road.

The application hasn’t been officially accepted for review by Fairfax County planners yet. Per its website, FCPS estimates the project will be completed in 2027.

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