Upcoming Renovations to Transform School
By Abby Gagermeier, Feature Editor
The school hallways that have stood for upwards of fifty years will soon be gutted and torn down. Drills and hammers will become commonplace across campus, as renovations at long-last come to town.
Every school renovation is a long process of paperwork, planning, voting, and politics. But as our student population continues to rapidly expand, it’s becoming nearly impossible to ignore the growing needs of a larger student body.
This means change is coming, albeit slowly. “We’re still in the early planning stages,” says Principal Ben Nowak. “Nothing is set in stone.” However, important conversations are beginning to take place, including a community meeting scheduled for June 4th, at 7pm in the cafeteria.
While most renovation plans are still under wraps, some basic outlines have recently been revealed. “Door #1 will still be the main entrance,” says Assistant Principal Peter Lake. Even so, it’ll be completely redone and made similar to the attractive glass entrances of other FCPS schools.
“The teacher parking lot will also be transformed into a new science wing,” says Mr. Lake. This additional section will be two levels with tons of new classrooms, a larger cafeteria, and a courtyard. Across the school, the planetarium will also be receiving a technological upgrade.
Parking, as it stands, will not be sacrificed either. Assistant Director of Student Activities, Robert Krause, explained that the tennis and basketball courts will be completely relocated, nearly doubling the adjacent parking lot. Meanwhile, Paul Weber Stadium and the baseball field will remain in their current locations.
The main gym will also be completely renovated with four sides of bleachers, improved locker rooms, and brand new dance and wrestling rooms. Lastly, renovations will include an entirely new performing arts wing, with an expanded auditorium for theater and the music department.
All of these plans and renovations hinge on the School Board’s approval. In November 2021, a vote will take place on an official bond to renovate school. If the vote passes, construction could start as early as the following December or January of 2022.
“Typical renovations tend to last 4 ½ years or longer,” says Mr. Lake. To put that into perspective, fifth graders in feeder elementary schools today will come to a Falls Church that looks entirely different, but even they might have to deal with some finalizing construction.