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Falls Church Unveils New High School as Hybrid Learning Begins

Today is the first day of hybrid learning in the City of Falls Church, and for some, it’s an introduction to the recently unveiled new George Mason High School.

Falls Church City Public Schools streamed a virtual ribbon cutting on Sunday (Feb. 21) to open the school and thank everyone involved in the process of completing this project.

“This has been a long time in the making,” FCCPS Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan said. “I just want to thank everybody for your continued support for the last decade or more, making sure we were on track.”

The $108 million project to construct a new high school began in earnest with a bond referendum passed in 2017 to finance the construction. Workers broke ground on the endeavor in June 2019.

Among the features of the new five-story school are a black box theatre, a green roof, fabrication and robotics labs, a gym with an elevated running track, a main gym, and an auditorium. It also includes counseling offices, a café, library and media services, and maker space.

“My friends and I have been watching the schools go through this process of building a new high school since we were in elementary school, and it’s really wonderful seeing the final product,” said Elisabeth Snyder, a senior and the Falls Church City School Board’s student representative. “I can’t wait to learn in this building, and I know students are going to have a wonderful time learning in this building for generations to come.”

The new building is designed for a student capacity of 1,200 to 1,500.

The new high school was built next to the existing one. The school now connects to the adjacent Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School.

“Education has always been the crown jewel of our community and always will be,” City of Falls Church Mayor David Tartar said. “And this school will ensure for years and generations to come, students will be coming and learning the most important lessons in life here in this building.”

The old high school is set for conversion into a mixed-use development known as Little City Commons.

The names of the high school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary School are still subject to change after the city school board voted on Dec. 8 to rename both. The decision came after some community members advocated for the changes following protests against racial injustice and police brutality last year.

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