Original Mount Vernon High School

About

The county is working to reuse the original Mount Vernon High School campus at 8333 Richmond Highway. The redevelopment project includes the Park Authority’s George Washington RECenter’s grounds.

The Board of Supervisors owns the former school that's been vacant since 2016. We will create a master development plan for the nearly 42-acre site. This effort supports our Economic Success Plan, and it is linked with Embark Richmond Highway, an effort to bring bus rapid transit to the corridor.

For more information, contact Heather Diez by email or call 703-324-5800, TTY 711.

Project Background

The original Mount Vernon High School was built in 1939. The Board of Supervisors owns the 22-acre property and the building was leased to the Islamic Saudi Academy from 1985 to 2016.Original Mount Vernon High School campus map.

To inform its work, the county convened a community task force to look at possible ways to reuse the building, and the group issued its recommendations in December 2016:

The county also conducted several studies on the old school building, including:

  • Mechanical systems life cycles
  • Possible modifications needed to meet federal American Disabilities Act requirements
  • Historic Structures Report

The property was listed in the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites in the early 1990s. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources has determined the property eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, with additional work underway to confirm that the property remains eligible for the National Register. The county submitted a new form in in mid-late 2016. This work will inform future efforts towards formally listing the property in the National Register and the potential to use historic tax credits for redevelopment opportunities. The site also has been identified as a Embark Richmond Highway heritage resource.

Project Timeline

The county is already reusing the site as the longer-term master development plan is underway. The project will develop over three distinct phases; immediate, interim use, and long-term reuse. Current actions in each of the phases are listed below.

Immediate Phase Actions (2016)

  • The gymnasium officially reopened on Oct. 11, 2016, for programming by the South County Teen Center to improve youth and teen programming in Region 1
  • Improvements to the appearance, landscaping, and safety of the school grounds
  • Fields between the school building and George Washington RECenter will continue to be available for community athletic uses
  • Retain existing use of the site by the non-profit groups Progreso Center for Literacy and Citizenship and Brain Injury Services

Interim Use Actions (2017-2019)

  • Fire Marshal opened a South County office in the school building
  • Master planning process begins

Long Term Reuse Actions (2017-2022)

  • Community outreach planning
  • Evaluation of planning and redevelopment procurement options for site development