Action-packed meeting on neighborhood issues.

Columbia Heights Civic Association
Membership Meeting
Monday, February 12, 2018
Walter Reed Community Center
Walter Reed Drive and 16th Street
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Please join us tonight for an action-packed meeting on neighborhood issues.

Career Center Working Group

Columbia Heights is officially represented in the Career Center Working Group, which is actively pursuing long-range plans for the campus of the Career Center, Fenwick Building and the old Patrick Henry elementary school. The County wants feedback from the neighborhoods about a large number of issues, including:

· Whether the existing Career Center should remain the same, or whether this should be a “comprehensive high school” for local residents
· Whether the Community High School—which serves all of Arlington—should remain on the site
· Whether the County’s Montessori program should move into Patrick Henry
· Whether the County should purchase the ECDC property that would connect the campus to Columbia Pike
· Where to move the public library

Creating a New Neighborhood Plan

Part of our meeting will focus on plans for a new Neighborhood Plan. Our guest speaker will be Tim McIntosh from the Arlington County Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee (NCAC), who will give us guidance on creating a new neighborhood plan using a charette process. NCAC is the program that funds infrastructure projects based on priorities that neighborhoods have identified in their plans. To date, we have received well over a million dollars’ worth of projects. These have included: the fencing and gateways into the Walter Reed Community Center; new street lights in Arlington Village; a new sidewalk and street light on S. 11th Street; and the historic display case in the Walter Reed Center. This Spring the NCAC will begin construction on the east side of Columbia Heights, with improved sidewalks and safe school bus stop at 12th and S. Courthouse.

We want everyone’s input into the new plan, which is expected to include a new part of S. Cleveland Street. The plan will also address other issues of concern, including street calming (to address cut-through traffic), the construction of a new emergency road along the northeast corner of the Army-Navy Country Club, and much more.

Street Construction along Columbia Pike

Jon Lawler from Arlington County will join us to provide an update on construction along Columbia Pike, which could continue for the next three years.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sarah McKinley
President, Columbia Heights

 

CAREER CENTER REDEVELOPMENT:  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN AT THE 12 ACRE SITE?

Dear PPG members: For distribution to your neighborhoods if you choose.
Respectfully, Kristi

CAREER CENTER REDEVELOPMENT:  WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE HAPPEN AT THE 12 ACRE SITE?
Arlington Heights is home to a 12-acre plot of land known as the Career Center site.  Arlington Public Schools (APS) and Arlington County (AC) have committed this site for redevelopment.  They have divided the land into two “blocks”:  the “North Block,” which is owned by APS, and the “South Block,” which is owed by private property owners.  The North Block is currently home to Patrick Henry Elementary School, Arlington Community High School, Career Center, and Arlington Tech High School, and serves approximately 2000 students.
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APS HAS DECIDED TO ADD 1300+ HIGH SCHOOL SEATS TO THE CAREER CENTER SITE.  APS and AC formed the Career Center Working Group (CCWG) to evaluate the site, and to recommend how the site may be developed in phases to accommodate these additional high school seats and associated facilities and community amenities.  This is NOT a debate about whether the site is getting high school seats and construction.  The debate is what kind of seats (i.e., neighborhood or choice seats), the construction timeline, and what types of amenities will be placed on the site.
This is where you come in!
What would like to see happen at the Career Center site?  What type of amenities (if any) would you like our neighborhood to have?
In my view, the Career Center site should be redeveloped into a NEIGHBORHOOD, WALKABLE HIGH SCHOOL that retains a maximum number of county-wide seats for Arlington Tech and Career Center training.  The site must have fields, structured (underground) parking, a swimming pool, planned traffic ingress/egress, and the Columbia Pike Library.  There is a possibility that the site could be extended through the South Block to Columbia Pike, and the Library relocated to face Columbia Pike.
Make no mistake:  this is the time to get involved.
The Career Center Working Group has over 40 members, each bringing their own interests, which may or may not necessarily align with our neighborhood’s interests.  Personally, I do not want see this—which is what APS WAS PLANNING to do at the site.
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As shown here, APS’s architects proposed building a third level onto the Career Center building and extending the building’s footprint in almost all directions.  For example, the Career Center building expansion would have added a 3-story building adjacent to Highland Street.  As you can see, the plan simply crams another 1300+ students to the site, takes away what little green space remains, provides no additional parking, no plan for the additional traffic and buses, and no amenities for our neighborhood.  
How can I get involved?
Attend meetings of the Career Center Working Group, which are conveniently held at the Career Center and open to the public.  See here for meeting times and dates: www.apsva.us/career-center/career-center-working-group/career-center-working-group-meeting-dates/.  Write to APS School Board (school.board@apsva.us) and Arlington County Board (countyboard@arlingtonva.us).  Contact me (ahca.ksawert@gmail.com) and give me your views.
Kristi Rupert Sawert
AHCA President