Alexandria’s new Patrick Henry School and adjoining Patrick Henry Neighborhood Recreation Center officially opened their doors today to students, school staff and the community after 18 months of construction by the Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and the City of Alexandria to expand and modernize the school and recreation facilities.
“This is a momentous day for our children and community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. “We are delighted that the City and Schools have been able to collaborate so well on this project to ensure the end result works as a 21st-century facility for our young learners as well as a recreation center at the heart of the community. We want to thank the City for being our partners in this enterprise.”
“The new Patrick Henry school and recreation center are fantastic new amenities for students and the entire community,” said City Manager Mark B. Jinks. “The City and Schools have worked closely together on this innovative and cost-effective approach to meeting community educational and recreational needs.”
The new 136,000 square-foot school building will host students from kindergarten through eighth grade, expanding capacity to 900 students. Prior to the expansion, the school’s 650 students attended pre-K through fifth grade. Pre-K classes have been transferred to the new Early Childhood Center co-located at John Adams Elementary School.
The new recreation center comprises 19,000 square feet of dedicated recreation space including indoor running and walking lanes; a flex court with full size basketball, volleyball and pickleball courts; multipurpose rooms for senior programming, community classes and meetings, and expanded out-of-school-time programs; and dedicated arts and crafts, exercise and fitness, and soft play rooms.
The school and recreation center will share an additional 12,000 square feet, including a black box theatre, full-size gymnasium and additional multipurpose room.
The original joint project plan between the City and Schools was put in place almost five years ago. Staff from the City and ACPS worked closely together to resolve site constraints and topographical issues that have arisen since the initial project plan was put in place and to ensure the project is as efficient as possible while simultaneously matching the needs of both entities. The final total cost of the project was $62.8 million, of which $52.3 million is attributed to the new school and $10.5 million is attributed to the recreation center, including the upgrading of outdoor amenities.
The final phase of the project includes the construction and installation of a full size rectangular synthetic turf field, baseball diamond overlay, outdoor basketball court, three playgrounds and adult fitness equipment.
The community is encouraged to attend an open house for both facilities on Saturday, February 2, from 9 a.m. to noon.