Updates on Planned Capacity Enhancement

West Potomac High School Addition

Design and planning is underway for a capacity enhancement at West Potomac High School. 

The West Potomac High School Design Committee held its kickoff meeting on June 19, 2019.  A second design committee meeting was held on August 20, 2019. Click below to view the minutes from each meeting.

Minutes from June 19, 2019 Design Committee Meeting

West Potomac High School Design Committee Kickoff Meeting June 19, 2019

Minutes as taken by Brad James, FCPS

Present at Meeting (In order from sign in sheet): Mr. Aaron Helmick Ms. Katie Savage Mr. William Brinley Ms. Tangy Millard Ms. Sally Murphy Mr. Matt Dunne Mr. Brady Rauch Mr. Brad James Mr. Wayne Terronez Ms. Kenyatta Williams Ms. Kim Hamlett Ms. Lynn Taylor Ms. Kim Fazio Mr. Kevin McMahon(Absent) Mr. Rusty Shaw



1)    Introductions were given by each attendee.

2)    Brady explained the design process and roles of each committee member. Roles are as follows:

  • Assist with the location of new addition on the site.    
  • Discuss parking and traffic concerns of current conditions
  • Act as conduit for other community members to bring their concerns as well as relay information given at the design committee meetings.
  • Classroom layouts or interior space details are fairly standardized so this is not part of the committee.
  • This is a capacity enhancement project, not a full renovation, so discussions need to be focused.

3)    Rusty presented a slideshow. Summary highlights are as follows:

  • Current program issues include student population, parking, existing trailers, and separation of the bus loop from the kiss n’ ride loop.
  • Current design efforts have included meeting with principal to discuss program and capacity needs, completion of a traffic assessment, and building walk thru with the Design and Construction staff as well as maintenance staff.
  • Criteria for the new addition design: keep addition as one location, addition should be central to campus, addition should be stand alone, and addition will be multi-story.
  • This new addition will add 34 teaching spaces; 6 science rooms and 28 typical classrooms as well as ancillary type spaces
  • The cafeteria will be expanded by 1,000 square feet.
  • 15-18 months estimated for construction time.
  • Concept 1 was presented. Key points include:
    • Location is central to campus
    • Allows for an additional 30+/- parking spaces to North lot and approximately another 50+/- parking spaces to the South lot.
    • Relocates tennis courts between football and baseball fields
    • Separates bus loop from kiss ‘n ride traffic.
    • Extends the kiss ‘n ride queue along Quander Road.
    • Concept 2 was presented. Key points include:
      • Classrooms isolated from bulk of school
      • Allows for an additional 50+/- parking spaces to North lot
      • Relocates tennis courts between football and baseball fields
      • Does not separate bus loop from kiss n ride traffic
      • Based on separation distance, it does not seem likely that another entrance can be added along Quander Road.

4)  Questions asked:

Who reviews/approves drawings before submission? FCPS has an internal team of architects and engineers that review drawings after submissions by the consultants. Final permit review for approval is done by the County.

How does community members’ input get incorporated into the design? The input is reviewed by the office of Design and Construction and then feedback is provided back to the community members.

When is the next meeting? 4-6 weeks

Can all buildings be connected? Since this is a capacity enhancement, it is not in the current plan. If this is desired by the design committee, a feasibility assessment can be done. Decision for connecting all buildings is currently outside scope of this committee.

Will there be the same number of tennis courts put back? Yes

Can the addition be 3 or 4 stories high? Not preferred for circulation, budget, fire code, and being consistent with neighboring building heights.

If an addition cannot be built to connect Springbank and Quander, can a connector be included in the design?

A connector maybe possible. We will check the feasibility and provide examples at the next meeting.

Can Bryant Alternative High School be demolished so a new West Potomac HS can be built in its place? No, the scope for this project is strictly a capacity enhancement.

Can the cafeteria expansion be used to provide the connector between Springbank and Quander? This may be possible. We will check feasibility and provide examples at the next meeting.

What will be the phasing for trailer removal? This will not be determined until later in the design process. Likely, a few more trailers will need to be brought onsite to facilitate the construction.

How many parking spaces will be required? The final number of spaces required won’t be determined until the site plan submission.

Where does band practice get relocated if Option 1 is chosen? It was envisioned to go in the new North lot, however we will investigate if the South lot can be reconfigured since it’s closer to Springbank.

Why can’t we do a full renovation? The bond approved funding is currently only available for a capacity enhancement. Any major change on this project will affect all other schools next in the construction queue.

Who can cap student capacity? This is outside this groups purvue and will need direction from the School Board.

Can we add more classrooms to the connector that will be included for the next meeting? We will review the possibility of adding more classrooms. Should the budget allow it and it is possible then it may be included. If the budget will not allow it then the connector may be designed with the future expansion in mind.

5)    Committee member statements and concerns.

  • The school currently has a classroom travel time to exit of 12 mins. This is a concern during tornado drills.
  • Security is a concern of the committee.
  • Connection of all the buildings is a priority.
  • It was requested that the design team come see corridor flow during school hours in between classes. Design members have been inside during class changes and will keep this in mind.
  • If a connector is built between Springbank and Quander, there is concern that the path of exiting pedestrians from sporting events is being blocked. This could be solved by providing storefront doors thru the connector.  

6)    FCPS statements.

  • Elimination of trailers and good circulation will enhance the environment.
  • Traffic assessment findings make Option 1 more favorable.
  • It’s possible to ease corridor congestion in areas by removing lockers.
  • New kiss ‘n ride queue length in Option 1 will help traffic conditions on Quander road.
  • A concept showing a connector between Springbank and Quander will be included for the next meeting.
  • This project is being designed for 3,000 students at an 85% space utilization.
  • Option 1 will be developed to include a connector and band practice areas for discussion at the next design committee meeting.

These minutes represent our understanding of the meeting. If there are items omitted or items listed incorrectly, please inform the undersigned by July 3, 2019. After that date, these minutes will be deemed correct as indicated.  

Very truly yours, 

Carl R. Shaw, Jr., AIA, NCARB Senior Vice President      Cc:    Present at Meeting  

Ms. Liz Paradine    Architecture, Inc. Mr. Brad Pierce    Architecture, Inc.  



Minutes from August 20, 2019 Design Committee Meeting

West Potomac High School - Addition Design Committee Meeting August 20, 2019 Minutes of Meeting     Attendees: Mr. Brady Rauch

Mr. Brad James

Ms. Sally Murphy

Mr. William Brinley

Mr. Aaron Helmick

Ms. Tangy Millard

Mr. Kevin McMahon

Ms. Katie Savage

Ms. Kenyatta Williams

Ms. Kim Hamlett

Mr. Matt Dunne

Mr. Rusty Shaw

Mr. Brad Pierce

Ms. Liz Paradine


  1. The proposed plan includes increasing the corridor arteries to the Cafeteria so that traffic on the existing arteries will be lightened.
  2. The Project is a capacity addition enhancement which also addresses circulation issues. The design student population is 3000 students, with the building at 85% capacity.
  3. Two locations in Gunston Hall will receive Corridor door modifications to better accommodate traffic flow: where Gunston meets the existing Connecting Corridor and where the two-story wing meets the breezeway Corridor.
  4. The existing Classrooms which will lose windows due to the addition will gain Solatube skylights.
  5. If the Principal opts for it the Classroom Addition could function as a gth Grade Academy. The Project includes two large Teacher Workrooms. A question was raised regarding providing Offices for i.e. a subschool Assistant Principal, Counselor, etc. if the Addition functions as an Academy.
  6. One of the Teacher Workrooms could be dedicated as a Workroom to serve the gth Grade Academy. The other Workroom could function as a Departmental Workroom. The Workroom design is inherently flexible whether or not the Addition functions as an Academy.
  7. The existing Corridors are not being widened. However, some existing hall lockers might be removed to widen the Corridor to alleviate congestion.
  8. The exterior elevations are still being developed and are not being presented tonight.
  9. The bus loops stays in its current location and will be modified. Kiss-N-Ride moves to where the existing Tennis Courts are.

The big painted rock can be shifted as needed.

The Project is endeavoring to preserve and not impact the recently upgraded storm water management pond.

The Project will address the County's storm water management requirements.

It would be helpful if the Band's practice marching area could be as flat as reasonably possible to aid in marching exercises.

If possible sound mitigation measures should be taken where the proposed Kiss-n­ Ride drive lane abuts the neighbors' property.

Near the Classroom Addition provide landscaping buffers at the corner of the neighboring  properties.

The Project will comply with County landscape screening requirements when near neighboring residential areas.

Currently the Senior parking lot is on the East side of Springbank Hall.  This is the proposed site for Band marching practice.  The Project adds some spaces and redesigns the parking layout. Juniors park on the West side of Springbank Hall.

  1. How will the Juniors exit the West parking lot if the Band is marching in the East parking lot?
  2. Typically the Band does not utilize the full 100 yards during marching practice.
  3. The traffic lane could be painted in.

If the Education Specifications call for Basketball Courts, the Project will include them. Brady will verify this.

The Minutes of tonight's meeting will be sent to Brady.  He will follow up with having information available for the School to post on its website.

The Phasing (timing and sequencing) of the construction is not yet defined.

Additional bathrooms for the site fields are not part of the Project.

The expanded Cafeteria might function as an open food court either being open, or open visually through use of glass.

A question was raised if the Media Center spaces adjacent to the new Passageway through the Cafeteria might have windows onto the new Passageway.

Suggestions from the audience include: match the existing brick, use as much glass as possible.

The next meeting will be with the Design Committee as a prelude to the Community Presentation, and will aim to address:

  1. Sustainability efforts included in the Project (green initiatives)
  2. Pavement and green space
  3. Traffic flow
  4. Exterior Elevation concepts.

  These are the official minutes and represent our understanding of the meeting. If any items are missing, or if items are listed incorrectly, please inform the undersigned by September 5, 2019.  After that date, these minutes will be deemed correct as is.

Elizabeth Paradine Senior Associate

Cc:    Present at Meeting


Design Drawings

Note: Click on the image for larger viewing.

Minutes from October 21, 2019 Design Committee Meeting


Ms. Sally Murphy WPHS Design Committee [email protected]

Mr. William Brinley Springbank Community – Comm. Assoc. [email protected]

Ms. Tangy Millard WPHS – Principal [email protected]

Mr. Kevin McMahon WPHS – DSS [email protected]

Ms. Kenyatta Williams Community Member [email protected]

Ms. Kim Hamlett Community Member [email protected]

Mr. Matt Dunne WPHS Design Committee [email protected]

Lynn Taylor Community Member [email protected]

Wayne Terronez Community Member [email protected]

Kim Fazio Community Member [email protected]

Mr. Brady Rauch FCPS – Design & Construction [email protected]

Mr. David Campbell FCPS – Design & Construction [email protected]

Ms. Liz Paradine Architecture, Inc. (AI) [email protected]

Mr. Gary Cobbs Architecture, Inc. (AI) [email protected]


1. Tonight’s meeting will focus on:

  • presenting design options for the Exterior Elevations
  • discussing traffic flow on the site
  • green space and sustainability features of the Project

2. Three options were presented for the Exterior Elevations for the Connector Addition

  • Option 3 was the preferred option. Community members would like to see an option with more glass introduced in the recess areas at the monumental stair in lieu of the brick piers. AI will produce revised drawings for committee to review via email.

3. Three options were presented for the Exterior Elevations for the Classroom Addition

  • Community members preferred Option 3 with the overhang splay with the mix of Option 1 and Option 2. They suggested the continuous windows from Option 1 and the band above the windows from Option 2. AI will produce revised drawings for the committee to review.
  • At the Stair at Science Community Members preferred the option containing more glazing rather than the brick pier.

4. The site plan was presented and discussed, and the traffic flow was reviewed.

  • Pulley Center buses will enter at the Pulley parking lot entrance closest to Quander School, turn around in the modified parking lot and que up double loaded in front of Pulley, and then return to Quander Road.
  • West Potomac Kiss-n-Ride traffic will enter via the parking lot at Pulley Center, travel to the new rear parking lot, and then exit the site at this same location.
  • West Potomac buses will enter the site where they currently do, loop around the end of the modified bus loop at the Library, and then exit the site at this same location.
  • West Potomac student vehicle traffic will enter the site at the location closest to Springbank Hall, park, and then will leave the site at this same location.
  • FCPS and the design team will verify the parking increase as well as queuing at bus loop, student, staff parking and kiss-n-ride.
    • The Project includes increasing the parking capacity by 136 spaces.
    • The existing Kiss-n-Ride queuing allows for 43 vehicles on the property before spilling out into Quander Road. The length of Quander Road extending to the entrance near Springbank Hall increases the existing total queuing to 62 vehicles.
    • The proposed Project increases the queuing to about 71 vehicles on the property before spilling out into Quander Road. The length of Quander Road extending to the entrance near Springbank Hall increases the proposed total queuing to 114.

5. The Project includes adding parking along the entry drive (in front of Gunston Hall), the new rear parking lot, and along the emergency vehicle lane between Quander Hall and the Soccer Field.

6. FCPS indicated that some parking will need to be removed during construction to accommodate temporary classroom trailers and contractor materials. FCPS will continue to investigate phasing and staging needs and will meet with the principal to discuss how construction will impact parking.

7. The fairly new existing storm water pond near Springbank Hall will remain as is.

8. The Springbank Hall parking lot (Senior Lot) can accommodate the marching band practice area by removing some of the islands. The three islands closest to the building will remain and will provide a buffer between the band and vehicle traffic. Parking Lot light fixtures will be relocated as necessary.

9. FCPS will investigate providing an additional speed bump at the turn between the Senior Lot and the drive behind Springbank Hall.

10. The existing Cafeteria was increased by 1,000 SF to address the capacity increase, plus an additional amount due to the new passageway slicing through to the Connector Addition. The capacity of the expanded Cafeteria will be 763.

11. Outdoor dining space will be added between the Cafeteria and the Connector Addition.

12. FCPS will provide a schedule of construction. The Project Schedule is as follows:

  • Site Plan submitted to the County for permit review: December 2019
  • Building Plans submitted to the County for permit review: February 2020
  • Bid Documents hit the street: Nov. 2, 2020
  • Bids Due to FCPS: Nov. 18, 2020
  • Phased Construction: Dec. 7, 2020 – June 6, 2022

13. Brady noted that part of the process of submitting the Site Plan to the County for permit review includes official notification to the surrounding property owners.

14. See the attached list of the Project’s Sustainable Features.

15. FCPS will consider scheduling the Community Presentation during the PTA meeting on December 2nd, 2019.

West Potomac HS Addition Sustainable Building Features

  • A revised kiss and ride lane will be constructed which will decrease existing traffic backups on Quander Road during pickup and drop off times, saving gasoline and improving safety
  • New automatic temperature controls will be installed to work with the existing building systems
  • High efficiency lighting (LED) fixtures will be installed in New Work areas, including the Cafeteria
  • Interior lights will be on motion sensors to minimize power consumption
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures will be used to conserve water
  • New window glazing will incorporate low emissivity (Low-E) coatings
  • Energy recovery outdoor air units (providing free heating and cooling of outdoor air) will conserve power
  • Solar panels will provide the heat for the domestic hot water heaters in the Classroom Addition, thereby reducing if not eliminating power consumption to heat the water
  • Building envelope construction (walls and roof) will contain current code compliant materials to lessen energy demands
  • Addition architectural finishes will be of materials that are low VOC and sustainably produced
  • All civil work will be installed per the current stormwater management and water quality standards
  • Bike racks will be added to promote cycling in lieu of driving
  • Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems will be installed which control the amount of refrigerant based upon demand will save energy costs. These are very quiet mechanical units located in the ceiling, and do not take up valuable floor space.
  • Bottle fill stations will be installed to reduce water bottle usage and lessen landfill capacities
  • Where required, daylight harvesting will be utilized to reduce the use of light fixtures when adequate daylight is available

These are the official minutes and represent our understanding of the meeting. If any items are missing, or if items are listed incorrectly, please inform the undersigned by November 12, 2019. After that date, these minutes will be deemed correct as is.

Compiled by:

Gary Cobbs Project Manager