4.1. Work with Arlington Public Schools to maximize availability and stewardship of public spaces.
In such a space-constrained County, maximizing the potential for public use of County and APS spaces is critical to fully utilizing the public space assets.
4.1.1. Explore opportunities to improve joint use facilities to maximize public access to amenities and use land and other resources more efficiently. Identify additional existing APS facilities that could be used as public space.
The County currently has agreements with APS that provide public access to certain school facilities at specified times, but the practice could be expanded to improve access to other amenities throughout the County. In addition to improving joint use agreements for existing facilities, as new facilities are created they should be designed and operated with shared-use capabilities in mind to the greatest extent feasible.
4.1.2. Work jointly with APS to analyze program participation annually and adjust facility scheduling accordingly.
4.1.3. Expand participation in planning for publicly- accessible amenities on APS property.
Rather than consider facilities for public access after they are built, the County and APS should strive to coordinate and find opportunities for publicly accessible amenities during facility master planning and use permit planning processes.
4.1.4. Use design solutions to overcome security concerns related to the use of APS facilities by the public outside of school hours.
Schools with shared use facilities may, for example, be designed with separate means of access for the school and the public so that the public can access facilities after school hours.
4.1.5. Ensure the contributions to capital costs and maintenance of public spaces on County and APS sites are commensurate with use.
4.1.6. Continue to collaborate with APS to preserve natural resources, athletic fields, outdoor learning areas and other public space when designing and building new schools.
4.1.7. Work with APS to expand educational and volunteer opportunities for students to learn about the value of public spaces and natural resources.
For example, through classroom lessons, clubs and community service projects, APS can help enhance natural resources by planting, gardening, watering, etc.