Support from Amazon will allow Arlington Public Schools to move its Arlington Community High School to the PenPlace development in Pentagon City.
The high school, which currently serves about 300 students (ages 16 to adult), mostly immigrants, in a building adjacent to the Arlington Career Center near Columbia Pike, will occupy 20,000 square feet of space at PenPlace. That space had been reserved for public use when the project’s site plan was approved by County Board members in 2013.
The decision to use it for the high school was announced Oct. 20.
“Having a new home, built to serve their needs in an accessible location, will make a world of difference as [students] pursue their academic and professional goals,” School Board Chairman Barbara Kanninen said.
Announcement of the plan does not equate to approval; the County Board will need to approve the final site plan for the new facility, something expected in early spring of 2022. Students likely will make the move in late 2022 or early 2023.
Over the years, Arlington Community High School – which operated under several names – has had several homes, starting on land now occupied by the Arlington Mill Community Center in the western area of the Columbia Pike, then sharing space in Ballston with Northern Virginia Community College, before moving first to the Career Center and then next door to its current location, the county government’s former Fenwick Center.
County school leaders previously had telegraphed that the school would need to find yet another new home, as the Fenwick building is on the parcel slated for a major expansion of the Arlington Career Center.
Arlington Community High School offers student flexible scheduling to accommodate their work schedules, and permits them to earn credit upon mastery of the Virginia content standards at an individual pace.