Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bricks and Mortar Meeting at JH

An alert reader just sent the Growler this E-mail from the Alexandria City Public Schools announcing an important meeting on February 22 to obtain public input on Jefferson-Houston's aging physical plant and open layout. For some reason this message does not appear to have been widely circulated in the neighborhood or through the City's eNews.

Note that ACPS is still denying that the school may close in the future.

Facilities Committee Seeks Input on Jefferson-Houston

The public is invited to provide input on the Jefferson-Houston School for Arts and Academics physical plant at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22. The town hall-format meeting will take place at 1501 Cameron Street in the school's multi-purpose room. No pre-registration is required.

As part of the development of the Alexandria City Public Schools' (ACPS) Capital Improvement Program for fiscal years 2009-2014, the Alexandria City School Board's Facilities and Capital Improvement Committee would like to hear public perspectives on the current state of the Jefferson-Houston facility and what is desired for the future.

There are presently no plans to discontinue operation of a school at the site.

This meeting, which will only focus on the building and grounds, and not curriculum issues, is a follow-on to the town meeting held at the school on Nov. 1, 2006. Jefferson-Houston, one of Alexandria's 13 public elementary schools, was built in 1970 incorporating an "open classroom" design. Jefferson-Houston totals 80,385 square feet and is located on two acres at the corner of Cameron and West Streets.

Over 37 years, the building systems have been upgraded with sustainable and green features such as a single ply white membrane roof, energy efficient windows and doors, new HVAC with energy conserving controls and outside air filtration systems, and recycled rubber safety surfacing for the playground.

Curriculum programs have changed, however, and the open pod model is no longer considered the best way to deliver instruction.

For more information, contact Rosemary Webb, Clerk of the Board, at 703-824-6614 or send e-mail to rwebb@acps.k12.va.us.