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Fa i r fa x Co u n t y P u b li c Sc h o o l s

Fairfax County, Virginia

Bond Referendum

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2009.
◗ Voting INFORMATION ◗ Which School Improvement Projects
A school bond referendum will be on the general election ballot Are Included in the 2009 Bond?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
New Construction
Residents of Fairfax County may vote if they are 18 years of age or older on New Middle School:
Election Day and have registered to vote 29 days prior to the elections (by South County $ 50,000,000
October 5, 2009, at 5 p.m.). New Construction Subtotal $ 50,000,000

For more information about registering or voting, call 703-222-0776 or go
online at
Capacity Enhancement
(Additions and other modifications)
Crestwood Elementary School $ 4,150,000
◗ What Is a Bond?
Cunningham Park Elementary School $ 3,455,000
The sale of municipal bonds is a form of long-term borrowing that spreads the
Kings Park Elementary School $ 5,662,000
cost of major capital improvements over the years facilities are used. This method
Lynbrook Elementary School $ 4,784,000
of financing ensures that current and future users help pay for the improvements.
Spring Hill Elementary School $ 6,333,000
Springfield Estates Elementary School $ 3,225,000
◗ Why Are Bonds Needed? West Springfield Elementary School $ 3,929,000
The building and renovation of schools are not financed through the school Woodley Hills Elementary School $ 4,955,000
system’s operating funds, but through bonds. Similar to an individual or a Whitman Middle School $ 4,264,000
family obtaining a mortgage on a residence to spread the cost of home Capacity Enhancement Subtotal $ 40,757,000
buying over a number of years, bonds spread the cost of major capital
improvements over a number of years.
If approved, these bonds will probably be sold to large investment banking Middle School Renovation
syndicates that will have to competitively bid for them. Once bought, they are Sandburg (Planning Only) $ 2,501,000
typically resold to financial institutions, which then sell them to investors. High School Renovation
Marshall $ 101,822,000
◗ Why a Referendum? Renovation Subtotal $ 104,323,000
The law requires that voters approve bonds since they are a future obligation
for taxpayers. As long as debt service costs do not increase significantly as a Modular Relocations $ 9,750,000
percentage of combined general fund disbursements, the county’s bonded debt
will not be a contributing factor to any increase in local taxes. Infrastructure Management
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Upgrades $ 3,250,000
Roof Replacement $ 11,250,000
◗ How Will Passage Affect the County’s Bond Rating?
Athletic Infrastructure $ 3,250,000
Of the nation’s more than 3,000 counties, Fairfax is among only 22 that have the
HVAC Replacement $ 5,750,000
highest credit rating possible for a local government:
Security Enhancements $ 1,500,000
• Aaa from Moody’s Investors Service. Asphalt Paving $ 1,250,000
• AAA from Standard & Poor’s. Infrastructure Management Subtotal $ 26,250,000
• AAA rating from Fitch Investors Service.

Because of these ratings, Fairfax County’s bonds always sell at exceptionally low Project Subtotal $ 231,080,000
interest rates.
Bond Cost $ 1,500,000
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors controls all county bond sales within REFERENDUM TOTAL $ 232,580,000
financial guidelines drawn to ensure that the coveted triple-A bond ratings are
not jeopardized.

◗ How Were the Students Park Authority ◗ Why Renovate Our Schools?
Projects Selected? During the school year, approximately More than 26,447 citizens attended classes, The School Board is committed to protecting
Each year, the School Board and staff 169,000 students use FCPS facilities daily camps, and Rec-PAC programs run by the the community’s investment in schools and
members work with the community to for academic and extracurricular activities. Park Authority in FCPS facilities last year. other buildings, which have a combined
develop an updated five-year capital present value approaching $4.5 billion.
Community Adult and Community Education
improvement program (CIP) for schools.
Most of the public meeting places Enrollment in FCPS Office of Adult and Not only do these facilities wear out over
To develop the CIP, the school system
available in the county are FCPS facilities. Community Education classes totaled time, but they also become outdated, both
assesses changes in expected enrollments,
In many cases, these facilities are provided 69,773 last year. technologically and instructionally. FCPS,
academic programs, and facility
free of charge to organizations such as therefore, renovates its schools to ensure
conditions to determine priorities for new
homeowners associations, 4-H, scouting that students, countywide, have effective
construction, renovations, and other ◗ Why Add More Classrooms
groups, county employee organizations, and efficient learning environments.
capital facility projects. The School Board and Modular Units?
and cultural and civic groups. In addition:
then evaluates the affordability of these
Recent significant increases in student Funding for the renovation at Marshall
school needs against other countywide • More than 2,000 organizations used
enrollment have pushed some schools High School is included in the bond.
requirements to determine how many of school facilities last year.
the highest priority school projects should well beyond capacity. These increases
• 161 schools are used as polling places for have been due to demographic, Fairfax County public schools are
be included in the bond proposal. general elections. expected to be usable for 20 to 25 years
economic, and other factors that will
• 135 schools serve as sites for Fairfax County’s likely continue to affect enrollment in from the date of construction.
Several factors were considered in
School Age Child Care (SACC) program. FCPS for the next five years. Renovations undertaken at the end of
determining which schools to include in
that period extend the useful life of the
this year’s bond referendum, including: • FCPS Office of Food and Nutrition
Construction money is included in the school building another 20 years.
Services provides some 192,000 senior
• Sustained high enrollment and/or growth bond for a new middle school in the Renovations also help to relieve crowding
citizen meals annually at 37 school sites.
experienced in the past several years. south county area. by providing spaces for required small-
• 95 religious and cultural organizations group and specialized instruction. Schools
• Continued need for temporary
used FCPS facilities for regularly In addition, nine capacity enhancement are renovated in a sequence determined
scheduled activities last year. projects are included in the bond for: by published rankings of priority need.
• Schools located in high growth areas as
These priorities are established by
defined by the Fairfax County Recreation • Crestwood Elementary School
independent professional assessments of
Comprehensive Plan. The Fairfax County Department of • Cunningham Park Elementary School
each school’s physical condition.
• Strong growth at the kindergarten and Community and Recreation Services is the • Kings Park Elementary School
primary grade levels. largest “outside” user of FCPS facilities. • Lynbrook Elementary School Examples of the other completed
• Demographic characteristics. The result is an outstanding recreation • Spring Hill Elementary School renovation improvements include:
program at minimum cost to Fairfax • Springfield Estates Elementary School upgrading basic systems such as heating,
County taxpayers. For example: • West Springfield Elementary School air conditioning, lighting, and plumbing;
◗ Who Uses Our Schools? • Woodley Hills Elementary School remodeling media centers; upgrading
• Last year, more than 250,000 individuals
Students and citizens use Fairfax County • Whitman Middle School science and technology laboratories;
participated in recreation activities—the
schools. Fairfax County Public Schools refurbishing general classrooms; upgrading
vast majority using FCPS facilities.
(FCPS) works with the Fairfax County The new construction, renovations, and wiring for cable television and computers;
• Community groups used 242 school and providing upgraded furnishings and
Office of Community and Recreation additions will allow for the relocation of
gymnasium courts during the past year equipment, where appropriate.
Services and with the Park Authority to six modular additions. Modular units are
for recreational basketball, volleyball,
ensure that school facilities and athletic factory-built structures that include
and other indoor activities.
fields are available to the public after conventional-size classrooms that are
school hours. The following are examples • 532 school athletic fields, representing wired and equipped to accommodate
of how school buildings are used. 62 percent of all the fields available in technology requirements and therefore
the county, were used in last year’s meet current educational specifications.
recreation program. They can be installed in half the time and
• Eight schools were used as teen centers realize a 50 to 60 percent cost savings
during the school year. over conventional structures.

◗ Why Include Funding
for Planning?
◗ Are There Other
Requirements? Bond Referendum 2009
The 2009 school bond referendum also The cost of providing staff members to
includes planning money for renovation at maintain quality control over contractor
Sandburg Middle School. Putting funds work on all projects funded by this bond
for project planning into one bond issue proposal is included in the contractor’s
and actual construction money into a later bonded costs. The estimated expense to
bond issue allows timely implementation underwrite and issue bonds is reflected in
of the projects without committing the the bond referendum total as well.
county’s bonding authority for
construction costs earlier than necessary. Dranesville
Some projects need added time for land ◗ How Will Passage
acquisition; other projects may require Affect Your Tax Rate? Hunter Mill ●
complicated construction designs or If approved, the bonds will be sold when
lengthy government approval procedures. needed to meet cash requirements for

With preplanning, such complicated projects included in this referendum. To Fairfax City ●
projects can be completed earlier than ensure that Fairfax County’s coveted
they otherwise would have been had triple-A bond ratings are not jeopardized,
planning and construction been the Board of Supervisors’ financial
authorized concurrently. guidelines provide that the annual cost of Mason
the county’s debt service (principal and Braddock
interest payments) be no greater than ten
◗ What Will the ●
percent of annual combined general fund ●
Infrastructure Component disbursements. The Board of Supervisors ● ●
Accomplish for Schools? Lee
also maintains the county’s net long-term Springfield ●
Although our schools are maintained in debt at, or below, three percent of the
an exceptional manner, there are many total market value of taxable property in ★
components that do not have a life cycle the county. As long as debt service costs ●

capable of lasting 20 or more years do not increase significantly as a
between construction and a renovation. percentage of combined general fund Mount Vernon

The infrastructure component is disbursements, the county’s bonded debt
will not be a contributing factor to any Bond Type
dedicated to these essential elements of
the facilities in order to maintain them in increase in local taxes. ■ New Construction–Middle School
a safe manner. The primary funding is
devoted to the two most critical aspects ◆ Renovation Planning Only–Middle School
of a school–the mechanical system and
▲ New Renovation–High School
roofing. In addition, funding includes
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) ● Capacity Enhancement–Elementary School
upgrades, the replacement of sound and
fire alarm systems, parking lot asphalt ★ Capacity Enhancement–Middle School

repair, security enhancement, and athletic
infrastructure replacement.

Fairfax County School Board

Kathy L. Smith
Sully District

Judith (Tessie) Wilson
Vice Chairman
Braddock District

Elizabeth T. Bradsher
Springfield District

Brad Center
Lee District

Stuart D. Gibson
Hunter Mill District

Martina A. Hone
Member At Large

Kaye Kory
Mason District

Ilryong Moon
Member At Large

James L. Raney
Member At Large

Daniel G. Storck
Mount Vernon District

Jane K. Strauss
Dranesville District

Providence District

Shawn Ghuman
Student Representative

To find out more about the bond referendum, you may go to the
Fairfax County Public Schools web site at or call the FCPS
Department of Communications and Community Outreach at 571-423-1200.