Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Arlington County Public Schools is pouring more than $100 million into the new Yorktown High School located at 5201 N. 28th St, a handful of blocks from the intersection of Glebe Road and Lee Highway and just a stones-throw from Greenbriar Park. The design scheme, by Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects, was approved on October 18, 2007. Now, the public school system has officially set the general contractor's bid schedule for the 300,000 s.f. project, setting the submission deadline for April 1st in order to precipitate an ambitious groundbreaking date of May.
Yorktown High School is one of three high schools located in Arlington, Virginia, and has 140 faculty members and a student body of 1600 students, placing in Newsweek's Top 100 list of U.S. Public School's since 2003, ranking at number 59 in 2007. The school and its faculty are notoriously responsible for breeding successful talent of the late Dr. David Brown, who died in the Columbia space shuttle accident, and Katie Couric, who did not.
Anyway, Yorktown's redevelopment has been discussed since 2002. The project has been phased to remain fully operational during construction (students not being easily distracted by noise); phase one was constructed in 2004 and added a three-story, 55,000-s.f., 30 classroom building. The current portion of the project will serve as the second and final phase for the high school's redevelopment, and will decrease the buildings' footprint while increasing its interior space.
Phase two is much more intricate: the first step involves demolishing an existing one-story classroom wing and replacing it with a wing that contains a cafeteria, administrative offices and classrooms. Step two will demolish existing space to make way for a swimming pool, auxiliary gym and performing arts theatre. Finally, contractors will destroy the gymnasium and relocate it to the outskirts of the campus adjacent to the swimming pool. To fill the space where the old gym stood, a bleeding-edge media center will take up half of the old gym's footprint, while the other half will remain open space and be landscaped to serve as a courtyard for students. The final step will be to remove the last vestiges of the old Elementary school building and pool.