Friday, May 15, 2015

Dorsey and Lander Pushed APS to Waste Millions on Abingdon School Boutique Parking


Abingdon School Neighbors are outraged about the time and money APS has so far wasted designing Abingdon School's boutique parking lots and SUV turn-arounds for Abingdon PTA parents, Staff, and Teachers -- at least $2 million over 8 months and most likely a lot more. So much time and money has been wasted on parking lots that APS's Facilities and Operations Staff and its architectural firm had to redesign the school to eliminate much new infrastructure inside the renovated and expanded school.

As approved by the School Board at it's last meeting, the schematic design for Abingdon is a bare-bones renovation and expansion costing just over $30 million. You can see for yourselves at and go to the April 21st Building Level Advisory Committee meeting presentation. APS's Facilities and Operations Staff admitted to the School Board at its April 23rd meeting that a significant schematic redesign of Abingdon School was necessary because of cost escalations over the months when boutique parking was being designed and debated.

Moreover, according to conversations with APS employees, huge amounts of time and money were expended on designing parking and vehicle turn-arounds to Abingdon SUV Soccer Parents' specifications. Abingdon School Teachers, Staff, and PTA so controlled the Abingdon design process that transportation to and from the school AM and PM is designed to allow maximum convenience for parents dropping off and picking up their children, with school buses running almost empty.

Who were instrumental in  facilitating the aforementioned Abingdon School "planning"? School Board Chair and County Board candidate James Lander, and County Board candidate Christian Dorsey, who was placed on the Abingdon Building Level Planning Committee by Lander to facilitate boutique parking.

It gets worse. APS is well-aware that Arlington Economic Development's quest to attract tens of thousands of Millennials to Arlington will likely push Arlington Public Schools' student population over 35,000 by 2025.

So the relocatables will stay and new schools and additions will be constructed on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School campus, and on a dozen sites elsewhere. And the APS-County revenue split will be more than 50% to APS.

As we at AY see it, the extravagant waste of tax dollars by APS on Abingdon "planning" amounts to de facto misuse of public funds. Neither James Lander nor Christian Dorsey should be elected to anything, let alone the County Board.