Fairfax County calls for school construction to address overcrowding

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - The Fairfax County school board is calling for $866 million in school construction and renovations in the coming years to address overcrowding in the school system.

The Washington Post reports the county's 2015 to 2019 Capital Improvement Program is proposing the construction of five new elementary schools in the next five years to handle the growth in enrollment.

Since 2006, the school system has grown by about 20,000 students per year. It has 184,500 students this year. Based on the current trends, the student population could grow to 199,000 by 2018.

Superintendent Karen Garza says the proposal will help address future needs. She says the school system continues to face a critical shortage of facilities and will struggle to provide sufficient classroom space without an infusion of construction dollars.