County Board Approves New Reed Site Elementary School

Published on November 17, 2018

  • Neighborhood school for up to 732 students

  • Strong civic presence in Westover

  • Existing building to be renovated, expanded

The Arlington County Board today approved a new elementary school for up to 732 students at the Reed site, 1644 N. McKinley Road, in the Westover neighborhood.

The Board voted unanimously to approve a use permit amendment for Arlington Public Schools to renovate and expand the existing Reed School/Westover Library to create a neighborhood elementary school. The project is part of APS's ongoing effort to meet the challenge of continued growth in student enrollment.

"The plan for this new elementary school has been developed through an extensive, year-long community process," Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol said. "This new school will help meet the pressing need for more seats across our school system, and will also be an important civic presence in the Westover neighborhood."

The School Board has approved a budget not to exceed $55 million for the new school, funded by voter-approved bonds. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2019, and the new school is scheduled to open in time for the 2021-22 school year.

[caption id="attachment_19534" align="alignright" width="150"]Planned Reed site elementary school overview Planned Reed site elementary school overview[/caption]

The approved plan included modifications of the Zoning Ordinance requirements for height, setbacks and parking. The new school will include two-and-four story heights, for a total of 112,919 square feet of floor space.

The addition will include school administrative offices, classrooms, a gymnasium, kitchen, cafeteria, teacher support areas and other building support spaces. The renovated areas will include new music/art rooms, a library, classrooms, teacher support areas and other building support spaces.

To read the staff report, scroll to Item No. 27 A on the agenda for the Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 Regular County Board Meeting.

Building design features include:

  • A universally accessible civic entrance plaza in front of the main school entrance

  • A multi-purpose gymnasium that will replace the small existing gym

  • Extensive renovations of the two-story portion of the existing building

  • Preservation of 159 trees

  • Reconfiguration and consolidation of the existing playground and two full-sized basketball courts into a play area on the northeast side of the school. The new play area will have one full-sized basketball court, a smaller court with one basketball hoop, an updated playground area and a tree-shaded lawn area.

  • Retention of the existing treed area in the northwest section of the open space, its playground and play area as it is

  • Retention of the existing athletic fields as they are

  • Expansion of existing parking lots on McKinley Road/18th Street N. and N. Madison Street/18th Street N., for a total of 124 on-site parking spaces

  • Addition of on-site parent pick-up and drop-off lane within the McKinley Road/18th Street N. parking lot

  • Upgrade of landscape and stormwater management facilities for the playground and fields


The original Walter Reed Elementary School was built in 1938. It closed in 1984 and in July 2007, the County Board approved a use permit to build an addition to the former school and a new branch of the public library. The existing building housed The Children's School and Integration Station program until June 2018, and has served as the interim home for the Stratford Program since July 2018.

Public engagement

The planning process began in October 2017 with joint review by the Public Facilities Review Committee and Building Level Planning Committee. The committees held 16 meetings to review the project as it progressed through concept and schematic design to use permit application, taking public comment along the way. The APS Board approved the schematic design following a public hearing. The proposed project also was reviewed by several County advisory commissions, including the Energy and Conservation, Parks and Recreation, Urban Forestry Transportation and Planning commissions.

To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll to Item No. 27 on the agenda for the Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 Regular County Board Meeting. Visit the APS website for detailed information on the planning process for the school.