Columbia Heights Civic Association
Monday, Oct 26, 2015 7:00 p.m.
2811 13th Road – Sarah McKinley’s house
Special Meeting to Consider School Sites
Columbia Heights, along with other South Arlington groups, are being asked to vote on
a site for a new school in South Arlington this coming week. This vote is based
on a new proposal across the street from TJ, that was just brought forward by a
local developer. We will be presenting this new option at the meeting and hope
for a full discussion of all the ramifications of this option.
Sarah McKinley and Lida Anestidou have been attending the South Arlington Working
Group, whose mission is to select a site for a new 725-seat neighborhood school in
South Arlington. The top choices for the first school to be built now are: the
Thomas Jefferson parking lot site (put on hold from last year), Drew Elementary
campus (which has enough space for another school) or Gunston (another school
campus with space for an additional school). Over the past two weeks, a new
possibility has been presented. A developer has proposed a land swap with
Arlington County near TJ at the Dominion Hills apartment complex on 2nd street,
across from TJ. The developer has proposed providing a two-acre lot to build an
elementary school across the street from the proposed TJ site.
The SAWG discussed this proposal last Wednesday. The leadership of the group wants
a vote on this proposal at our next meeting, now scheduled on Wednesday, October
28. This provides very little time for the community to absorb this new
proposal and the many possibilities that it presents. This emergency meeting
will explore these possibilities and provide guidance to Sarah and Lida as they
go into the next meeting to vote on the proposal.
The choices at that time
Support TJ as the preferred site.
Support Dominion Hills as the preferred site if it can be built by 2019. (Many have
doubts whether this could happen so quickly.)
Support Dominion Hills as the preferred site, even if final construction is held off to
Other issues include: alternative uses for the Dominion Hills site, trying to extend the
SAWG process past December, 2015, in order to get a more comprehensive decision-
If the siting of a new school is important to you, we would encourage you to come to this