BVSCA Newsletter September 2003
When: Tuesday, Sept. 30th at 7:30pm
Where: BVSCA's community room located on N. Utah Street between Gaffney's Restaurant and the Windsor Plaza condominiums.
Inside this Newsletter
The move to renovate or relocate Washington-Lee High School has picked up a full head of steam since BVSCA's last meeting at the end of July. A live option is to build a new high school facility on Quincy Park, rather than renewing the existing aging building or putting up a new building on the same site. BVSCA has been cranked into a fast community decision-making process, which is scheduled to reach a verdict on this by the first week in December, followed by final approval by the School and County Boards a month later.
The process formally kicked off Sept. 10 with the School Board approving a Steering Committee to develop a master plan for locating the school on either the Quincy Park or the Washington- Lee site. The Steering Committee is supposed to meet weekly until finishing its task. Committee members include at least 10 "citizen representatives" ranging from PTA to the School Board Advisory Council, and a half dozen or more "staff representatives" from county and school offices. The two citizens associations on the Committee are BVSCA and the Cherrydale Citizens Association (current W-L site is in Cherrydale, Quincy Park is in VA Square). Dennis Burr is BVSCA's representative on the Committee. Ed Parks is actively communicating with the County and School Board to allow multiple alternates, as numerous people have asked to help and because of the magnitude of the assignment. BVSCA should also be aided by a Committee slot for a "Virginia Square Planning Representative" (filled by Ed Rea, former chairman of the VS sector planning committee) since he'll be looking out for the interests of the BVSCA-supported new Sector Plan.
Officially, the School Board says there are three options for W-L: Option 1, renovate the existing building, Option 2, build an entirely new school on the present site, Option 3, build a new school on the Quincy Park site. In actual fact, the proceedings to date have put Option 1 on a back burner. The School Superintendent prefers Option 3 and it is getting wide attention because of its many ramifications. Prospects for Option 2 will be weighed not only on its own merits/demerits but also by the extent of community support or opposition to Option 3. Driving the rapid timetable for community response is the county's deadline under state law to have its 2004 bond referenda proposals submitted by next mid-year. Engineers and numbers crunchers will need several months to work out details after the master plan determines what will be built where. The cost for any of the three options is expected to be around $40 million.
Under Option 3, the new main classroom facilities would be built on Quincy Park. The Steering Committee will figure out where to put the playing fields, tennis courts and other components including parking and bus loops, and whether to relocate the indoor swimming pool. The educational center now on the W-L site on Quincy St. is presumed to be retained. Constraints pre-imposed by the Board are that the football stadium must remain where it is now on the old site, the Central Library in Quincy Park cannot be moved, nor can the grove of mature trees in the Park's northeast corner be disturbed, nor is there to be new surface parking in the Park. Some community use now made of the Park could be shifted to vacated areas of the old site. One intent is for a net increase in green space if possible, which would be aided by underground or multi-story garaging replacing the present surface parking lot on the west side of the high school.
The school planners went into high gear following completion of a W-L "feasibility analysis" last month by the architectural firm Grimm+Parker. The 46-page study explored the three Options and concluded: Option 1 "is feasible but has significant disadvantages and is therefore not recommended"; Option 2 also is feasible "and has both advantages and disadvantages"; Option 3 "has more advantages than disadvantages".
The study notes the original building was built in 1924. Since then there have been a number of additions and replacements. The current configuration was reached in 1976. Meanwhile various building conditions have deteriorated and advancing code standards have overtaken older ones. All roofing will need to be replaced over the next two years. The layout is inefficient in various ways both for educational uses and physically for such needs as climate control, security (there are 63 exterior doors), safety, etc., it is not conducive for community use after hours.
Under Option 1, according to the study, the oldest classroom wing would be demolished, new building area would be added, and the remainder of the school would be renovated. The job would take 4 years and cause certain disruptions: i.e., affected students/teachers would have to use portable classrooms, temporary toilet facilities, etc. Estimated initial cost: $38.9 million.
Option 2 envisages an all-new building on the existing site but because there isn't enough open space to build it without overlapping the present building, there would be a phased procedure also involving some disruption to school routine. The process would take 2 1/2 to 3 years. Estimated initial cost: $45.4 million.
Option 3 for a new building in Quincy Park would not disrupt the ongoing educational process because it would continue normally until the time comes to move schooling to the new premises. The Quincy Park facility would be completed in about 2 years. The study figured space saving including having parking in a structured facility would allow an extra 3 acres of open space for ball fields. Estimated initial cost, assuming the new school has underground parking: $45.9 million.
Grimm+Parker's economists came up with a further set of figures calculating that over a longer period, Option 1 would be the most expensive despite its lowest initial cost, and Option 3 would be the least expensive despite being highest at the start. According to their estimate over a 25-year life span, and with structured parking, Option 1 would cost $144.6 million including higher energy and maintenance costs, etc., Option 2 would be $146.9 million, and Option 3 would be $146.1 million with an above-ground parking deck. With a $147.8 lifetime cost for Option 3 with underground parking, the economists claimed a further saving by calculating the added amount would be more than offset by an estimated $4.58 million value of 2.84 acres open land reclaimed.
The W-L Task Force has scheduled its second meeting for Wednesday September 24. (Apparently, their first was on September 17th - BVSCA was not given notice of that meeting). Luckily, Lew Gulick called the School Board that day and attended. The Task Force will have its first public meeting on Monday, September 29th from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at W-L high school.
The funding is for 4 signs. The signs need to be located on county property; usually they are located in the right-of-way of roads, such as grass strips, traffic circles/triangles, medians, etc.
Someone in the neighborhood can develop the design for the signs. The County reserves the right to make modifications or suggestions to the design. Ideally, the design could then be carried forward and used as a logo for this newsletter. Please let Ed Parks or Dennis Burr know if you have an interest in being on this committee. To get more information about the neighborhood signage initiative go to www.co.arlington.va.us/cphd/ons/conservation/signs_pr ocess.htm.
The full scope of these eastern end improvements includes (1) two elevators on the south side of Fairfax Drive across from the existing elevator on the north side of Fairfax Drive and near the intersection with North Stuart Street and (2) an additional elevator next to the existing elevator on the north side of Fairfax Drive. The result would be two elevators on the north side of Fairfax Drive and two elevators on the south side of Fairfax Drive. Since the station lies close to the north side of Fairfax Drive, the project also includes the design and construction of an underground passageway that will go under Fairfax Drive from the new south side elevators to the mezzanine level of the station.
The following are two of the renderings that were displayed at the September 26, 2002 public hearing concerning this project. These show the preliminary design of the new elevators. (See the hard copy of the published newsletter for these renderings.)
Arlington Gateway - JBG Companies and J.E. Roberts Companies are developing this mixed-use project with 312,550 square feet of office space, 22,450 square feet of retail space, a 336 room, full-service hotel; and The Continental at Ballston, a 411 condominium apartment tower. All of the condominiums have been sold and occupancy should commence in the fall of 2003. The office tower began construction in late December 2002 and is scheduled for delivery in October 2004. The hotel will open in late 2005. In June 2003, the County Board approved the incorporation of the 950 N. Glebe Road site as part of the Arlington Gateway Site Plan. The 950 project will be a 248,962 square foot office building with 14,401 square feet of ground floor retail. (southeast and southwest corners of Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive)
Ballston Point - Construction is proceeding on this Monument Realty on this office and retail project. This building, located at one of the most prominent locations in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, will have 251,170 square feet of office space and 17,377 square feet of retail space. Completion is scheduled for fourth quarter of 2003. (Wilson Blvd. at Glebe Road)
The Berkeley at Ballston - Construction is underway for this 71-unit condominium building with 4,476 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. All units were sold prior to the commencement of construction. The project has a unit mix of thirty percent one-bedroom units and seventy percent two-bedroom units. The site area of the project is 0.73 acres. (N. Fairfax and Randolph)
Liberty Center - The Shooshan Companies has started construction on the Phase I office building component of this $100 million development. Phase I occupancy is scheduled for first quarter 2005. The new development will include 497,054 square feet of office space, 13,600 square feet of retail space and 513 apartments (529,190 square feet). Four two-bedroom, one one-bedroom and one efficiency affordable units will be provided the developer. Liberty Center received 18,836 square feet of bonus density for the affordable units and additional market-rate units. Parking is provided for 1,468 vehicles on five below grade levels. (Wilson Boulevard, 9th Street, North Quincy and North Randolph Streets)
Projects of Interest
The Ellipse at Ballston - This building is the final phase of the mixed-use Ellipse project. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) owns this site but will not commence construction without a pre-lease. The site plan, approved in August 1999, provides for 216,116 square feet of office space and 12,000 square foot of retail space. (Wilson Blvd. at Vermont Street)
Arlington Ice Skating Center - ? An amendment to the approved Site Plan filed by the Washington Capitals for the new twin ice sheet practice facility to be constructed on a new 8th level of the Ballston Parking Garage was approved by the County Board in June. The facility will be used primarily as a community ice skating/recreation center while providing the Capitals with needed practice ice on a year-round basis closer to the downtown MCI Center. Construction should begin in 2004. Total square footage of the project is 145,577 square feet. (North Randolph and North Glebe).
Ballston Common Mall and Hecht's Furniture Galleries - Total Entertainment Restaurant Group from Wichita, KS opened in early July a 17,000 square foot Bailey's Smokehouse & Tavern on the first floor of the Hecht's Furniture Galleries in the former JC Penny building. Bailey's, and the other major brand of Fox and Hound, are entertainment restaurants featuring multiple billiard tables and satellite and cable sports coverage. Total Entertainment now has 60 restaurants open in 19 states.
Projects of Interest
George Mason University Office/Retail/Parking - George Mason University Foundation received approval from the County Board to develop a building with 192,500 square feet of office space, 13,275 square feet of retail space and parking for 710 parking spaces. Demolition has been completed and an early 2003 construction start is scheduled. The typical office floor size is 39,000 square feet. The building will be applying for a LEED certification. The building will be delivered in early 2004. (N. Washington Boulevard)
Quincy Plaza - The County Board approved a site plan in March 2002 for Dittmar Company for a $70 million, 21-story apartment building with 499 apartments and ground floor retail space. Dittmar will offer 25 affordable housing units (8-three bedroom, 8-two bedroom and 9-one bedroom). This is the first project to take advantage of new density and height bonuses for affordable housing units. Parking is provided on 4 underground levels. The project should be completed in early 2005. (Wilson Boulevard, N. Quincy and N. Pollard Streets)
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Phase II - The second phase of the FDIC campus was approved in early 1987 for 373,380 square feet of office space. An amended site plan for two office buildings and a special purpose building was approved by the County Board in March 2003. The park/plaza will be reconfigured, albeit smaller, to face N. Fairfax Drive. Access to the new buildings will be from N. Monroe Street. The proposed height is 9-stories. (N. Fairfax and N. Monroe Street).
Alexan Mixed Use Development - Trammel Crow Residential Mid-Atlantic Properties, Inc. has filed a site plan on the Arlington Funeral Home property. The Funeral Home will remain in their current building and the existing parking lot will be redeveloped with a 12-story 140 unit residential building. (N. Quincy and N. Fairfax Drive)
Monroe Street Property - Monroe Street Ventures has filed a site plan for 79 unit, 9 story building located immediately east of Quincy Park. The sit plan requests the 25% bonus FAR for affordable housing. (N. Monroe Street and N. 10th Street) 3409 Wilson Boulevard - The Ed Peete Company has filed a site plan for a 9-story residential building containing 90 units and 2,749 square feet of ground floor retail. The project does not incorporate the existing gas station at Wilson Boulevard and N. Kansas Street. (Wilson Boulevard and N. Kansas Street)
Recently Completed Projects
Gallery at Virginia Square - Donohoe Companies completed in September 2002 this 19-story apartment building with 231 units adjacent to the Virginia Square Metro. The project contains 7,150 square feet of ground floor retail space as well as a large plaza near the Metro entrance. (North Fairfax Drive and North Monroe Street)
Ballston Gateway Office Building, 3865 Wilson Boulevard - Trammel Crow has completed this building with 122,904 square feet of office and 8,400 square feet of retail space. Weihe Design Group was the architect. Initial occupancy occurred in March 2003. (northeast corner of Wilson Boulevard and North Pollard Street).
This information can be found at http://arlfea1.tempdomainname.co m/arlingtonvirginiausa.com/development/update/dev_dev.html.
Pedals for Progress, a 501c3 charity, collects repairable bicycles in the United States, for donation to charities overseas, for productive use by those in need of affordable transport. A $10/bike donation is suggested to defray shipping to overseas charity partners. Receipt provided for all material and cash donations. Collection will take place rain or shine. For further info, visit or call Pedals for Progress at 703-525-0931. The Fall Environmental Extravaganza will take place on November 1, 2003 from 9 am 3 pm, at Thomas Jefferson Middle School parking lot, 125 South Old Glebe Road, Arlington VA 22205. For info, call 703-228-6427.
Kid's Corner: 9AM - 4PM - carnival games, Bongo the Clown (performances all day), balloon animals, face painting, tattoos, nail polishing, Moonbounce, and kiddie crafts.
Krafthaus (Crafts & Treasures): 10AM - 4PM - variety of arts and crafts available for purchase.
Bake Sale/Cake Walks: 9AM - 3PM (or whenever the goodies run out!) - fresh baked goodies for sale and the every enjoyable "cake walk"!
Live Entertainment - Mike Flaherty's Dixieland Direct (a dixieland style jazz band); Bolivian dancers; Bongo the Clown; O'Neill-James Irish Dancers.
Join us for a fabulous spaghetti dinner starting at 5PM.
Raffle Drawing: 7PM - Top prize $500.00
This is a great way to spend a beautiful Fall day -- great fun for the kids with lots of fun and good food. Please make plans to attend! St. Charles is located on the corner of Washington, Fairfax and Kirkwood; directly across the street from the George Mason School of Law. For more information, contact the St. Charles School office at: (703) 527-0608.
Tickets are $30 a ticket and a portion of the ticket sales goes to support the Partnership. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first serve basis and orders must be in by October 15th. These discounted tickets are only available through the following web address: www.capstickets.com/ballston.html.
The Arlington Ice Skating Center will be a two-story facility located on the 8th level of the Ballston Common parking garage. It will be the future practice facility for the caps and will also have a community rink. It is scheduled to open toward the end of 2004. So you should all be putting ice skates on your Christmas or other holiday wish lists.
Additionally, there will be a poster contest. To enter have your child send their name, address, e-mail, phone number and if applicable group name with the finished poster to Kara no later than September 29, 2003. The poster must be 11 by 17 inches or larger, labeled with the child's name on the front and contact information on the back. The poster must address the theme. Judging will be based on originality and content of message. Send to: Kara Van Graafeiland, 1020 N. Hudson Street, Arlington, VA 22201 Phone 703-228-4659 Fax 703-228-4655 or email at kvangraafeiland@ co.arlington.va.us.
Ballston is class 140364B.
Rosslyn is class 140364A
For additional information, call 703-228-1826. Sponsored by Arlington County Hearts and Parks Program, WALKArlington and Arlington Transportation Partners.
Courses will emphasize garden and landscape techniques that are bay-friendly and otherwise good for the environment. Designed for beginners to advanced gardeners and newcomers to the area, classes are 1.5 hours each and will be offered at 3 locations:
Wednesday Evenings, 7:30 - 9:00 pm at Fairlington Community
Center (3308 S. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA):
September 17th (Low Maintenance Lawn Care),
October 1 (Fall Garden Tips),
October 15 (Let it Rot With Composting)
Thursday Evenings, 7:00 - 8:30 pm at the William Ramsay
Recreation Center (5700 Sanger Avenue, Alexandria, VA):
September 18th (Low Maintenance Lawn Care),
October 2 (Fall Garden Tips),
October 16 (Let it Rot With Composting)
Saturday Mornings, 10:30 to Noon at the Nature Center- Potomac
Overlook Reg. Park (2845 Marcey Road)
September 20th (Low Maintenance Lawn Care),
October 4 (Fall Garden Tips),
October 18 (Let it Rot With Composting)
The course is offered by Virginia Cooperative Extension - Arlington County Office and the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia, Inc. For more information and to download a registration brochure, please visit http://offices.ext.vt. edu/arlington. Click on newsletters. You may also call the Arlington Extension Office at 703-228-6414 M-F, 8-5 or send an email to Tom Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arlington Community Television, the county's public access channel, will move from Channel 33 to Channel 69 and now will be known as Arlington Independent Media or AIM.
Arlington Public Schools has three channels:
Channel 30 will move to Channel 70. Channel 70's programming includes School Board Meetings, emergency school announcements, distance learning classes, school performances and '15 Minutes with the Superintendent.' The broadcast schedule for the three school channels may be found at: http://www.arlington.k12.va.us/instruct/IMT/AETV/br oadcast_schedule.htm.
Channel 32 will move to Channel 72. Channel 72 will continue to offer educational satellite programming and NASA-TV.
Channel 37 will move to Channel 73. Channel 73 will continue to air Classic ARTS-TV and George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College classes.
The purpose of BVSCA is "to take action to protect and promote the welfare and livability of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association's neighborhoods in particular, and in Arlington, in general". (By-laws of BVSCA) Only with a large, active and vocal membership can BVSCA be effective in its dealings with County officials.
Residents can join by filling out the membership application and paying membership dues. Both of which can be done either by 1) coming to a BVSCA meeting, or 2) by mail. The membership application is on BVSCA's web page and on the back of this newsletter. Dues are $10 per person. Dues are payable when first joining and are renewable each year on or before the anniversary of that date. New members and members who have not paid their dues in the last three years must wait 30 days after paying their dues before receiving voting privileges. Dues are used to help fund the Association's activities and sponsored events.
Join the BVSCA today.
Date: ________________________Dues: $10 per year
City: _______________________ Zip:_____________
Send my newsletter via: _____ email or _____ mail.
I'm interested in volunteering to help: ____ yes ____ no
Mail to: DeAndra Beck
1301 North Taylor Street
Arlington, VA 22201
Please make checks payable to BVSCA.
Tuesday, May 27, 2003, Annual meeting - No executive committee
Tues., July 29, 2003
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
At Large Executive Committee
Neighborhood Conservation Advisory Committee
Sharon Clayborne Goudie
Alternate Albert Lewis
Arlington County Civic Federation Delegates
Ballston Partnership Representative
The following positions are not appointed positions but rather volunteer positions. They are listed here so that BVSCA members know who they can go to for information on a specific issue. Please inform Denise Parks of any changes or additions to this list.
Cherrydale Relocation Task Force:
BVSCA Member Ed Parks
District 2 Police Committee:
Clarendon Task Force & Virginia Square East End:
Virginia Square Sector Plan Oversight Group
Condominium Project 10th & Monroe St.
13th Street Park:
Building Level Planning Committee:
(Washington-Lee School Project)
BVSCA Representative Sharon Clayborne Goudie
NCAC Sign Committee