Fairfax County Public Schools is moving forward with plans to expand James Madison High School.
An addition project for the Vienna-based school will be introduced as new business at the Fairfax County School Board’s meeting on Thursday, setting the stage for Fairfax County Public Schools to solicit bids for a construction contractor.
Intended to accommodate increasing enrollment, the addition will give Madison approximately 32,000 square feet of new space by augmenting the front of the school with a third floor and expanding the second floor at the back of the school.
On top of enhancing the building’s capacity, the addition will provide expanded cafeteria space and new library and technology learning spaces, according to Hunter Mill District School Board Representative Melanie Meren.
The project carries an estimated cost of $23.5 million that covers design, permitting, and construction. The funds come from school bonds that Fairfax County voters approved in 2017 and 2019.
“Fairfax County taxpayers want students to have modern and meaningful learning experiences,” Meren said. “…It is only through voter-approved bonds that FCPS can fund renovations and construction. I’m grateful to Fairfax County voters for investing in our public schools.”
Last renovated in 2005, Madison is designed to accommodate 2,115 students, according to the proposed FY 2022-2026 Capital Improvement Program. FCPS anticipates that the addition will expand its capacity to 2,500 students.
The school reached capacity during the 2015-2016 school year, and it now has 2,217 students.
Enrollment this year dipped slightly from the 2,272 students who attended during the 2019-2020 school year, when the school was at 108% capacity. Capacity utilization numbers for the 2020-2021 school year are unavailable since the COVID-19 pandemic has largely kept students at home.
FCPS is scheduled to open a bid for construction on the addition project on Jan. 21, and the school board will vote on the award when it meets on Feb. 4.
According to FCPS Facilities Planning Coordinator Jessica Gillis, the winning contractor will arrive on-site to start work this spring, and construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.
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