Public Works and Environmental Services

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-5033
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway
Suite 448 Fairfax, VA 22035

Randy Bartlett,
Director

Original Mount Vernon High School

Original Mount Vernon High School Exterior
The county is developing a master plan to reuse the original Mount Vernon High School and campus.

About the Project

Original Mount Vernon High School Logo

Fairfax County is creating a master development plan for the combined property at the Original Mount Vernon High School campus located at 8333 Richmond Highway and the Fairfax County Park Authority’s George Washington Recreation Center and Park located at 8426 Old Mount Vernon Road.

The master development plan will recommend steps to transform the 42-acre school campus and park site. Efforts will include adapting the historic structures into multigenerational, vibrant community spaces for use by a mix of public, private, residential, educational, recreational, and non-profit uses.

The handout for the Original Mount Vernon High School project is available at: OMVHS Program Handout.

Partners

Fairfax County approved an agreement to create a master redevelopment plan for the site. The Alexander Company and Elm Street Development were selected to work with county staff, the Park Authority and the Mount Vernon and Lee District communities to create the master plan.

The Alexander Company and Elm Street Development team are also transforming another property owned by the county, the former Lorton Prison now named Liberty Lorton, into a vibrant mixed-use community.

Project Background

The original Mount Vernon High School was built in 1939, a classic example of Colonial Revival architecture. It is located on land that was once part of George Washington’s estate.

In 1987, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources determined that the high school property was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The school was added to the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register on December 14, 2017, and the National Register of Historic Places on May 11, 2018.

The Islamic Saudi Academy had previously leased the school campus for 31 years. The site became available for redevelopment in October 2016.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors owns the 22-acre school property. The Fairfax County Park Authority owns the George Washington RECenter and parkland to the southeast of the Original Mount Vernon High School site.  The combined properties are included in the master planning and redevelopment effort.

Project Location

The county is developing a master plan to reuse the original Mount Vernon High School campus at 8333 Richmond Highway. The redevelopment project includes the Fairfax County Park Authority’s George Washington RECenter facility and grounds at 8426 Mount Vernon Road.

Original Mount Vernon High School Aerial Map

Master Redevelopment Plan

The Vision: An Innovative Community Campus

In collaboration with the community, Fairfax County, and the Park Authority, the Alexander Company and Elm Street Development will create a master plan for  shared multigenerational, vibrant community spaces with public and private, residential, educational, recreational and non-profit uses, as well as pedestrian connections to the nearby potential bus rapid transit station. This strategic location along Richmond Highway is next to one of nine potential bus rapid transit stations that will run along the highway from Huntington Metro Station to Fort Belvoir.

Goals and Vision

  • Reflect the unique tapestry of the Fairfax County community

  • Create shared, multigenerational community spaces

  • Serve as an incubator for non-profits and businesses

  • Be self-sustaining and contribute to the economy of the region

  • Enhance recreation amenities for the community

“Our goal for the redevelopment of this innovative community campus is to reflect the unique tapestry of the Fairfax County community; create shared, multi-generational community spaces; and serve as an incubator for nonprofits and businesses alike, while being self-sustaining and contributing to the economy of the region.” - Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck

Potential Uses

The redevelopment will need to be financially viable and sustain itself economically. A variety of options will be evaluated and uses considered including market-rate residential. The master development plan will explore the following opportunities:

  • Public and private uses and spaces
  • Housing for a broad range of age and income levels
  • Multimodal access connecting the site to the larger community
  • High-quality building and site design complementing the historic nature of the site
  • Open spaces and facilities for active and passive recreation
  • Preservation of natural resources
  • Non-profit and incubation spaces
  • Educational facilities and opportunities, public and/or private
  • Complementing, but not imitating, the services provided at the South County Government Center
  • Connecting local employment referral sources, and providing opportunities to small/local businesses
  • Adaptive reuse of the historic structure
  • Coordinated and integrated phasing of development

Project Benefits

  • Preserving the historic character and integrity of the school and campus
  • Building community through the creation of a vibrant gathering place
  • Delivering services effectively and allowing flexibility to adapt to future needs
  • Creating a community destination
  • Consistency with the vision of One Fairfax and the Economic Success Strategic Plan

Advancing Economic Success

The Original Mount Vernon High School redevelopment supports the county’s Economic Success Strategic Plan to grow and diversify the economy.

“The campus is a unique asset, and today’s milestone moves us closer to making it into a vibrant hub along Richmond Highway that advances the county’s goals for economic success and social equity.” - Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill

Timeline

The first step in the redevelopment is the creation of a master plan, which will be completed in 2018, followed by land use actions and project design. The process for the redevelopment project is summarized below:

  1. Spring 2018 – Community open house
  2. Spring/Summer 2018 - Redevelopment master planning, including community outreach and engagement
  3. Summer 2018 - County evaluation of redevelopment options
  4. Fall 2018 - Community outreach of the proposed master plan
  5. Future - Funding, land use actions, design, and implementation of redevelopment master plan

In the meantime, the county is already using some parts of the school while the longer-term master development planning process proceeds. The redevelopment project is planned in phases as summarized below.

Immediate Phase (2016)

  1. The gymnasium officially reopened in October 2016, for programming by the South County Teen Center to improve youth and teen programming in Region 1
  2. Improvements to the appearance, landscaping, and security of the school grounds were made
  3. Fields between the school building and George Washington RECenter will continue to be available for community athletic uses. The RECenter remains open.
  4. Existing uses of the site by the non-profit groups Progreso Center for Literacy and Citizenship and Brain Injury Services also remain open

 


Interim Use (2017-2019)

  1. The Fire Marshal opened a South County office in the school building in summer 2017
  2. The Fairfax County Public Schools registration office opened in fall 2017

Long Term Reuse (2017-2022)

  1. Redevelopment master planning
  2. Community outreach and planning
  3. Evaluation of redevelopment options
  4. Land use actions, design and implementation or redevelopment master plan (new)

What to Expect

Opportunities to engage with the planning team and provide input are being planned. A community open house to provide background information and outline redevelopment goals and process is planned for April 5, 2018, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the high school cafeteria.

Project Cost and Funding

A variety of funding options and sources will be evaluated as the master plan is developed and the implementation phasing and schedule are identified.  Funding is subject to the approval of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Presentations to the Community

Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck's Remarks from the April 5 Open House (8 min video)

 

Original Mount Vernon Potential uses
Task Force Concepts

Slideshow of Photos and Renderings

Original Mount Vernon High School

Contact

For more information, contact Katayoon Shaya at 703-324-5800, TTY 711, or email.

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