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FairfaxEducationMCA backs capital projects sought by Madeira

MCA backs capital projects sought by Madeira

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The McLean Citizens Association (MCA) board of directors on April 7 passed a resolution in support of multiple capital improvements being sought by Madeira School.

Officials at the all-girls private high school in McLean wish to replace an existing science building on the same spot with a three-level science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) facility. The proposed building’s Georgian architecture would match the rest of the campus.

Madeira’s leaders also seek to replace the school’s deteriorating horse stables, riding arena and exercise area with single-story structures serving the same purposes.

In addition, school officials hope to replace an existing faculty residence and health center in the same locations with 14 stacked, four-level, two-bedroom townhouses for staff and faculty. The 35- to 40-foot-tall townhouses would be located on hillsides, allowing one story to be below-grade, and none would be visible from Georgetown Pike.

The STEAM building is Madeira’s top priority in the proposal and the townhouses come second, according to MCA’s resolution.

Madeira leaders also want to replace a two-story, 2,000-square-foot, single-family residence for faculty on the same spot with a two-story single-family house of up to 5,000 square feet, which also would be used by faculty. The new house, like the existing one, would be visible from Georgetown Pike.

County health officials support the school’s plan to install septic drain-fields to handle wastewater and sewage from the proposed stables and larger single-family home and have accepted Madeira’s proposal for a 100-foot-wide tree-protection area along Georgetown Pike, MCA’s resolution read.

The new faculty and staff housing would produce about 65 extra vehicle trips on weekdays and 114 on Saturdays on Georgetown Pike, according to Fairfax County Department of Transportation estimates.

County transportation officials are not seeking a traffic-impact study for Madeira’s application, but want the school to align its driveway with Bellview Road across Georgetown Pike and extend the right-turn lane at the school’s entrance. But Madeira officials contend that moving the entrance from the top of a steep hill to a place more downhill might create a safety hazard.

County officials on April 15 will publish a staff report regarding Madeira’s application and the Fairfax County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the matter April 28. The Board of Supervisors will make the final decision at a date yet to be determined.

Located at 8328 Georgetown Pike on 375 hilly, wooded acres overlooking the Potomac River, Madeira School is allowed a maximum of 338 students and currently has 313, 160 of whom are boarders and the rest day students. The school also has 44 faculty members and 97 staff.

Madeira’s application does not seek to increase the number of students, faculty or staff, said Scott Spitzer, chairman of MCA’s Planning and Zoning Committee.

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