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Ashlawn Elementary School

When roll call runs long

Arlington, Virginia

More families are moving in, and that means more kids are in the schools. For Ashlawn Elementary School, that meant overcrowding. The 1956-built school wasn’t set up to handle the number of students that needed enrollment. But they also didn’t want to lose their natural space, so expanding the school or throwing up a bunch of new buildings wasn’t the best option.

We designed three major changes. The existing building was renovated, increasing multi-purpose and administration spaces and balancing the space of existing classrooms. Parking and drop-off areas were separated to reduce bicycle, vehicle, and pedestrian conflicts. And we put up one new building.

The new addition is three stories tall. It packs a ton of potential into a small physical footprint. The new building will house the Early Child Education classrooms, giving this gateway program a new identity and a separate entrance. The top floor includes a media center that overlooks the natural environment shared by all students. With these changes, Arlington Public Schools was ready for a longer roll call.

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