A story in last week's Virginia Weekly incorrectly reported the action taken by the Falls Church School Board at its last meeting. The board heard a report on the proposed $15,090,000 renovation to George Mason Junior-Senior High School. (Published 11/1/90)
The Falls Church School Board last week asked the City Council to approve an additional $1.56 million for the renovation of George Mason Junior-Senior High School.
"We must appreciate the quality of the environment for both students and staff," said School Board member Jann Murchie. "We need a 20-year solution to address needs that will take us well into the future."
The City Council approved $12.8 million for the project in June. The George Mason Architectural Advisory Committee said the initial figure should be increased to include three more middle school classrooms, exterior building improvements, sound control, lighting and landscaping and classrooms with at least 700 square feet in the high school and 735 square feet in the middle school.
At the meeting, some teachers said that the proposed classroom size is not large enough for technical equipment and small group learning.
"Classroom size is important to us," said teacher Gail Nolan. "We need a classroom that can accommodate technology today."
William Richardson, a technology consultant hired by the School Board for the renovation, said the project should incorporate space and electrical power for five to eight portable computers per classroom.
As technology advances and computer costs continue to decrease, there will be "more and more use of computer technology in classrooms rather than in the lab environment," Richardson said.
Many courses have been added to the curriculum since the school was built in 1952. The project will include space for those courses with flexibility to incorporate future programs.
Additional space for science and foreign labs, art work areas, eating facilities and the middle school is necessary as enrollment grows, proponents said.
Enrollment figures for 1989-90 totaled 637 students. The projected enrollment figure for the 1994-95 school year is 807 students.
The renovation also will more fully separate the junior and senior high schools.
The proposed project entails construction of an auxiliary gym, dining room and kitchen, high school science labs, additional bathrooms and an expansion of the middle school.
Planned modernization of the school includes new roofing, window replacement, asbestos removal, demolition or renovation of structures, a new elevator, and auditorium, gym and exterior improvements.
Other proposed site improvements are a fire lane with hydrants, additional parking, storm and sanitary sewers, an underground water retention system, Route 7 sound control and additional lighting and landscaping. Tennis courts and athletic field lighting still are being considered by the committee.
A public hearing on the proposed renovation and additions will be held at 7:45 p.m. Nov. 6 in the council chambers.