APS News Release

School Board Hears Update on Capital Projects and Changes to Project Funding for Dorothy Hamm Middle School and The Heights Building

School Board Appoints Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

At Thursday’s School Board meeting, staff presented updates on capital projects and proposed changes to the Dorothy Hamm Middle School and The Heights Building construction project funding. Both schools were completed on time to welcome students for the start of the 2019-20 school year and require additional funding for project completion.

Capital Projects Status Update: Staff shared an update on five capital construction projects recently completed under budget, resulting in savings. Projects include Abingdon Elementary School, Connect Arlington, McKinley Elementary School, the Syphax Education Center and the Yorktown space conversion. Savings for these projects totaled $2.36 million and staff recommended a transfer to the Capital Reserve for future projects. The current Capital Reserve balance is $36.09 million. The full report is available online.

Dorothy Hamm Middle School: The Dorothy Hamm Middle School project includes the renovation of the existing Stratford Building, which is now complete, and the construction of a new addition, now scheduled to be completed in spring 2020. Construction of the addition was delayed due to unanticipated excessive rain, groundwater and unsuitable soils. These conditions also contributed to an increase in project costs. Staff request School Board approval to transfer an additional $3,900,000 from the Capital Reserve to the project, resulting in a revised total project cost of $43,050,000.

The Heights Building: The school opened on time and the project is now in its final stages as the construction of the Theater will be complete in the next few weeks. This was the first major project for APS in a land-constrained, urban location, with several adjacent properties undergoing major construction simultaneously. Due to factors related to the dense, urban location and unanticipated circumstances during construction, total project costs exceeded the initial budget of $101M by approximately 5 percent. Additional funding of $5.6M is required to cover additional work completed to-date and estimated future expenses. Staff is asking the School Board to approve the transfer from the Capital Reserve.To read more about these requests as well adjustments APS will make in future projects based on these lessons learned, visit BoardDocs.

The Board approved the appointment of Bridget Loft as the new Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Read more about her appointment here.

The Board approved the internal audit plan which is done in consultation with the Audit Committee. The full report is available online.

Minor Construction/Major Maintenance MC/MM Update
– Staff provided the Board with an update on current and completed projects as well as lessons learned. The full report is available online.


  • The Children’s School (TCS) Specialized Improvement Costs – Staff updated the Board on the agreement with TCS and is requesting approval to transfer $500,000 from the Capital Reserve for payment of two construction-related items per the Services Agreement. The request includes $280K towards the construction of their new building and $220K for build-out of Integration Station Specific space. More information is available on BoardDocs.
  • Career Center Expansion Educational Specifications – The Board discussed Educational Specifications for the Career Center expansion. More information is available online.

The School Board will hold its next Regular Meeting (2110 Washington Blvd.) on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.

Citizens who want to comment on any items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at school.board@apsva.us or call 703-228-6015. Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes will be posted to the website at aps2016.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.