Commercial redevelopment is great for revitalizing our City, but it seems to be an eternal fad in the City of Falls Church. (Photo courtesy of Falls Church News-Press)
Although there is nothing terribly wrong with redevelopment, every year there seems to be one project after another being reported in the Falls Church News-Press only to never be seen again. This isn't to say that all projects fold, but there is substantially more "talk" than "walk," as many projects just lack real substance. Going from a semi-sleepy town to a bustling mini-metropolis like Ballston in Arlington isn't easy and often these visions just become dreams.
The City of Falls Church needs to realize the irony in letting development get the better of it. In a place where the schools are so fundamental to the City's value, this makes public education a second priority.
Falls Church needs to first live up to its reputation of having an outstanding school system. This can't be done by having school property used for anything but the schools. The City needs to reflect this attitude. George Mason's campus is, simply, no place for commercial redevelopment.
George Mason was built in 1952 with minor patchwork and a major renovation in 1994. However, it is clearly in need of a serious facility upgrade. Falls Church can't be known for its prestigious public school system while using a run-down building and calling it a high school. Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax, and even Clarke County have managed to build far superior and more modern facilities for their high schools. It's now Falls Church's turn.