County Council approves renovation of Armstrong Elementary School

County Council approves renovation of Armstrong Elementary School
A depiction of the proposed library addition to Armstrong Elementary School (via Fairfax County Public Schools)

Fairfax County Public Schools can proceed with renovations of Armstrong Elementary School in Reston.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the project without discussion after a public hearing on June 25, paving the way for an expansion that will provide the school with additional space and modern facilities.

Armstrong Elementary School originally opened in 1986 at 11900 Lake Newport Road and has been facing renovations since 2009, although it has not struggled with overcrowding like other schools. Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year was 364 students – 82% of the program’s capacity, which is 446 students, according to the most recent FCPS capital program.

However, FCPS stated in its application that the one- to two-story building still requires “significant improvements.”

The 7,600-square-meter school will be expanded to 10,400 square meters with three additions: a one-story administration building, a two-story, 1,000-square-meter classroom building and an 8,000-square-foot library. This will increase the planned capacity from 786 to 800 students.

“The proposed extension will match the facade of the existing building,” county staff said at the public hearing.

Several outdoor improvements are planned, including three new playgrounds, two athletic fields, an outdoor classroom, a 2-foot retaining wall that will allow for the construction of an ADA ramp and stairs to the athletic fields, and a 6-foot-wide asphalt path around the soccer and football fields.

The newly approved plan also calls for expanding the school’s existing kiss-and-ride parking lot from 80 to 111 spaces and adding bike racks to the north and south parking lots. Buses will receive five parking spaces, using a one-way loop in front of the main entrance for boarding and alighting.

As part of its development conditions, FCPS has agreed to designate three parking spaces as electric vehicle charging stations and install infrastructure for future stations.

In addition, approximately 1,858 square meters of the existing building’s roof will be reinforced with steel to support future solar panels, but there is no guarantee that the panels will be installed.

The $56.9 million project was funded by bonds approved by voters in 2021 and 2023 and is currently in the county’s permit review process.

“We hope to put the project out to tender in late November and receive bids before the end of the year, with the goal of awarding the contract in early 2025,” FCPS said. “The project is expected to be 30 months of construction, meaning it will hopefully be completed by summer 2027.”