Alexandria public schools finalize purchase of N. Beauregard St. property

On Monday, Alexandria, Virginia, Public Schools announced it had purchased the property at 1703 N. Beauregard Street, which the district plans to eventually convert into a new school.

In a news release, the school system said it had closed on the property last Friday. The School Board had begun talks on buying the building last summer. After endorsement by the City Council and approval by the Planning Commission for the building’s new use, the Council was able to appropriate the money in September.

1703 N. Beauregard Street
1703 N. Beauregard Street in Alexandria, Va. (Image Google Maps)

Buying and renovating the existing building at 1703 N. Beauregard Street will allow ACPS to create a new 600-student school without the need for new construction. By using the existing structure, ACPS says it has also “reduced the necessary project funding by $39.2 million in the FY 2023-32 Capital Improvement Budget,” according to a news release.

“As space in urban settings becomes more constrained, it is important for us to continue to use innovative practices to address our capacity needs,” ACPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. said in the release.

For the short term, ACPS said, the new property will be used to relocate certain school system operations, and to be used as a facility “swing space” for George Mason Elementary School and Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology as those two schools move forward with their own modernization projects.

Using the N. Beauregard Street location as a swing space for other schools will allow modernization initiatives to move forward without increase to the budget, the release said.

After modernization efforts are complete, ACPS said the new property “will transition into a new 600-student school, either for elementary or secondary use, which the School Board will decide at a later date.”

Regarding the benefits of urban conversion, ACPS pointed to the creation of nearby Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School.

“The success of Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School, along with nationwide examples of commercial space being converted for school purposes, proves that the retrofit of commercial spaces can be fiscally responsible and provide an equitable, high quality learning environment for students” said Dr. Alicia Hart, ACPS acting chief of facilities and operations.

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Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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