The Heights Building (Wilson School)
July 2022 – Use Permit Amendment
This is a use permit amendment request for The Heights Building (formerly the Wilson School), which houses the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Program, to add a below-grade parking structure with a lighted synthetic turf field above. The County Board approved the 180,000 square foot new school with a design capacity of 775 students in February 2017, but deferred consideration of the APS proposal for a parking garage with 93 spaces and a lighted recreational field on top until removal of the temporary fire station from the site occurred. This County Board decision to defer the garage and field components was reflective of and responsive to concerns raised by staff and various county committees and commissions. The County Board requested that additional information for the site’s parking demand for school operations be collected during the period that the temporary fire station occupied the site and justification for an additional 93 spaces located on-site be provided. With this information, there would be an opportunity to better study the parking demands of the school after it opened and an on-site garage could be further considered, ensuring that the minimum parking needs of the school were met, and excessive parking was not constructed. The school opened in September 2019 and the temporary fire station was removed from the site in November 2021.
The subject use permit amendment request for The Heights Building now proposes a below-grade parking structure with 61 spaces, in addition to the 100 permanent parking spaces provided for APS use in the adjacent Cortland Rosslyn parking garage, for a total of 161 parking spaces. To address County Board concerns, APS collected data on traffic and parking demand up until the relocation of the temporary fire station which they’ve provided in a Multimodal Transportation Assessment (MMTA). The proposed design capacity for the school remains at 775 middle and high school students across both programs. The proposed garage includes an entrance/exit on 18th Street North, a covered entrance to the Shriver Program, options within the garage for secure staff bike parking and covered student bike parking, and storage space for APS equipment. Above the garage, APS proposes a lighted synthetic turf field at an elevation of 180 feet with amphitheater seating in the northwest corner where the field tilts upwards to accommodate the Shriver Program entrance and entrance/exit to the parking garage.
On May 14, 2022, the County Board deferred the item to no earlier than the July 16, 2022, County Board meeting, to allow additional time to assess and address several issues identified in the deferral report. Prior to the deferral on May 14, 2022, the use permit amendment was heard by the Public Facilities Review Committee (April 14, 2022), the Park and Recreation Commission (April 19, 2022), the Transportation Commission (April 28, 2022), and the Planning Commission (May 2, 2022). The Transportation Commission and the Planning Commission both recommended deferral of the use permit amendment.
After further analysis, APS revised their proposal to address the issues identified in the deferral report. The use permit amendment with revisions will be heard again by the Transportation Commission (June 30, 2022), the Planning Commission (July 6, 2022), and is scheduled to go before the County Board on July 16, 2022.
More information and documents are provided on the APS project page.
Planning Commission Meeting (July 7, 2022)
Transportation Commission Meeting (June 30, 2022)
Planning Commission Meeting (May 2, 2022)
Transportation Commission Meeting (April 28, 2022)
PFRC Meeting (April 14, 2022)
February 2017 – Use Permit Approval
On Feb. 25, 2017, the County Board approved a use permit for the approximately 180,000 sq. ft. Wilson School, with modifications to setbacks, height and parking regulations, but deferred consideration of the APS proposal for a parking garage with 93 spaces and a lighted recreational field on top until removal of the temporary fire station from the site.