1300 HS Seats FAQs

May 10, 2018:

The data on this page was gathered, analyzed and presented throughout the 2016-2017 school year. On June 30, 2017, the School Board voted to create 500-600 new high school seats at the Education Center and 700-800 new high school seats on the Career Center campus. For more information on the new high schools to be placed on the Career Center campus, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please also refer to the Analysis page for additional information.


Q. Where will money come from for structured parking?

A. Current cost assumptions do not include structured parking. The number of seats may be reduced or the timeline extended if structured parking is required to be built within existing funding.


Q. Is there more CIP funding coming available over the ten year period?

A. $103.5 million will be available between now and Fall 2022; an additional $17.75 million will be available by Fall 2024, and an additional $25.21 million will be available by Fall 2026 (bonds are sold annually).  Possible future funding would be part of upcoming Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) discussions.


Q. Is there sufficient funding to decide to build a fourth HS now that would open in Fall 2022?

A. $103.5 million is the funding available to provide an additional 1,300 high school seats by Fall 2022.

  • Our most recent high school, Wakefield, cost $115 million and was built to accommodate approximately 1,900 students with extensive fields and on-grade parking.
  • Construction costs have escalated since Wakefield was completed in Fall 2013 and a new high school would likely require structured parking; based on this, it would appear that $103.5 million is insufficient to construct a new high school to open in 2022.


Q. What is the current $12.75 million at the Career Center for?

A. The $12.75 million in the FY 2017-26 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the Career Center is to provide capacity for up to 600 Arlington Tech students and to plan for further phased construction at the site.


Q. What is an Early College program?

A. “Early College” is defined as a small school that would provide high school academic content along with access to college credit classes.  Students typically graduate with an associate’s degree and high school diploma.  More details can be found in the Advisory Council on Instruction (ACI) Annual Report identifying instructional options.


Q. Will the Career Center be an option school?

A. There are different alternatives, including an option program and a neighborhood school, that could be considered at the Career Center.  While several options are possible, he location and student population do make the site ideal for a walkable neighborhood school.  If it became a neighborhood school, Arlington Tech would remain as a countywide option program within the school, similar to the county wide International Baccalaureate program at Washington-Lee.

Q. Will an expanded Career Center include an aquatics center?

A. An aquatics center could be provided at the Career Center if funding were available.


Q. How will  field space at Career Center be managed?

A. At least one synthetic turf field could be created if a parking structure was constructed in the existing parking lot. There are two options for the parking structure:  above grade with the field on top, or below grade with the field at grade level on top. A parking structure below grade is likely to cost more than a parking structure above grade.

If the existing Henry building was removed at some point in the future, a field could be extended above parking at grade level to create a full-size stadium similar to other Arlington high schools.

APS would also coordinate with County Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to use off-site fields during the school day.


Q. What is the difference between building 1,300 seats now at Career Center compared to hybrid?

A. Response clarified 6/30/17  In the staff analysis the Education Center as part of the Hybrid Option D was scored “Meets Expectations” in the Timeline category because 500-600 seats would be available before 2022. The Education Center could be available for students in 2021 or potentially sooner. Many factors impact the completion date including availability of funding and the number of other schools opening in 2019. Additional study and coordination with the county is also required such as a community engagement process, use permit, and a Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC).


Q. Will structured parking be needed? How much and where at both sites?


  • Additional structured parking will not be required in the hybrid option at the Education Center.
  • Some additional structured parking would be required if 1,300 seats were constructed on the Education Center site.
  • Structured parking would be required at the Career Center site to provide field space.


Q. Are there enough students in the vicinity of the Career Center to fill the school?

A. Yes, there are over 2,000 students currently in grades 3-6 who would be in high school in 2022 who live within a 1.5 mile walk zone.


Q. How will traffic be addressed?

A. Traffic studies would be developed in coordination with the County during the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) school process and the Public Facility Review Committee (PFRC) county process. Both the Education Center and the Career Center are located in transit-rich areas. APS would work with Advisory Committee on Transportation Choices (ACTC) to decrease single occupancy drive rates and increase other modes of transit.


Q. How will the Career Center project be phased?

A. The Career Center project would likely have three phases:

  • Phase 1 would provide for growth of Arlington Tech up to 600 students.
  • Phase 2 would add an additional 700-800 students.
  • Phase 3 would add 500-600 students.

Depending on available funding field space and structured parking would likely be constructed between phases 2 and 3 or with Phase 3.


Q. Is it possible that the program at the Career Center will have a single focus, such as a culinary program?

A. No instructional program decisions have been made for the Career Center seats. At the gallery walks held at Kenmore, the Ed Center and the Career Center, community members and staff engaged in a number of informal discussions about different instructional options. Several community members were brainstorming about program options ranging from medical services, an entrepreneurial program, a veterinarian program and a culinary arts program.  Staff shared these and other ideas with community members at the gallery walks.


Q. Will common spaces be provided in the Hybrid Option?

A. Common spaces at both the Education Center and Career Center will be determined by the instructional programs at each site. Once the programs are determined, a community process will help guide which common spaces and amenities will be provided.