Meeting June 1

Quarterly General Meeting, Sat 1 June, 11:00, Westover Library mtg room

  • APS Transportation Planning and Benefits of Walkable Schools. Speaker: Lauren Hassel, APS Safe Routes to School Coordinator
  • Neighborhood Conservation Project proposals
  • Upcoming Community Event: Farewell to Reed Field Party

Come by after visiting the big yard sale on the greenway!

New Officers, Next Meeting

At the last HPOK meeting on April 6, the general membership approved the election of new officers:

Kathleen Trainor, President

Preston Mitchell, Vice President

Christopher Palo, Treasurer

Mike O’Malley, Secretary

We also heard from the County about one of our Civic Conservation proposals, to improve crossing at 14th street and Ohio, at the foot of the bridge over Rt. 66.  The members reviewed and approved the plan, and HPOK sent a letter of endorsement to the County.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday June 1, 11-12:30, in the Westover library large meeting room. Agenda and speaker will be announced shortly

Next Meeting

Minutes of the last HPOK meeting, on Dec. 1, can be found below
HPOK will hold its next meeting on Saturday, February 2nd, at 11 o’clock in the large meeting room at Westover library. We will be electing a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, and naming quadrant representatives. 
We plan to invite a member of the school board to speak on the state of the Reed school project, which is scheduled to begin in September of 2019. The project will take two years, so this is a last chance to make use of the sled hill for a while.
HP-OK Civic Association held a general membership meeting Saturday, 12/1/18 at the Westover Branch Library.
An outline of key items follows.  Details with current updates can always be found at our website,
     I. CA Officers Attending: 
President, Mike, O’Malley; Vice President, Glenn Geiger, Treasurer Melanie Canter, Quadrant Representatives Kathy Mimberg, Preston Mitchell, Tanya Schneider, Bryna Helfer
II. Finances:  Our CA Account is above minimum levels and sufficient to cover anticipated near term expenses.
III.  Future Meetings:   We are returning to regular quarterly general membership meetings.  The next Meeting will be on February 2nd,  in the Westover Branch Library Large (Longfellow) Meeting Room.  Dates and times will be posted when we can confirm the room reservation.
IV.  Communications:   Getting the word out to all ~650 HP-OK Households is tricky and current methods haven’t been adequate.   We’ve formed a Communications Committee to find ways to improve.  For now, we’ll continue using  multiple platforms, including the HP-OK Yahoo List Serve, Next Door, Facebook, and our Website, and add portable small outdoor billboards for posting special events and meetings.
V. Reed School Plans and Construction Changes:  Changes are coming to the school and library area, soon.  They’re too many to list and things change, please check the website for current status. We pan to invite a school board member to describe the state of the project at the February meeting
VI. CA Officer Elections:  Candidate Nominations will be requested at the next meeting.  These include elected positions:
 President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary,  and Neighborhood Conservation Commission Representative 
 And Volunteer/Appointed Positions:
– Quadrant Representatives
– Arlington County Civic Federation Representatives
– Special Focus Area Committees
     – Communications
     – Reed School
      –  Lee Highway Development/Planning
      – Westover Merchants Liaison
      – Succession Planning
      – Welcome Packets

HPOK Meeting Coming Up

Dear Neighbors:

HPOK will be holding a general membership meeting on Saturday Dec.1, from 11-12, in the Westover Library large meeting room. We have a lot to consider, including upcoming elections for HPOK Board members. We would like to get input from the membership on a number of other topics, including

1. What form of communication would you prefer? At the moment we have a website,, and we have social media lists including the Yahoo groups HPOK list, with roughly three hundred members, and the NextDoor HPOK list, with approximately 600 members. There are plusses and minuses to each. We would like to find a way to settle one one social media list

2. What would you like your Civic Association do do? In the past, Civic Associations have managed County Civic Improvement grants. However, this program has been badly stalled for the last several years and is currently under review. A civic association can organize neighborhood events, like the Halloween on the Greenway HPOK has helped organize for many years. It can organize and sponsor festival or neighborhood days. It can advocate for traffic safety measure or needed civic improvements. CAs can organize forums for County and school board elections, or sponsor informational talks by County staff. In the past year, the CAS has been very active in planning the upcoming Reed School demolition and reconstruction. Do you have a sense of what you would like your CA to do?


Please attend if you can. And then you can go get lunch in Westover!

Halloween on the Greenway

The Highland Park-Overlee Knolls HP-OK) neighborhood association is looking for a NEW Coordinator and volunteers for Halloween on the Greenway”. This is a wonderful annual event-but we need some help this year! And, it’s a lot of fun!!

Please let me know if you are able to step in as the coordinator. The neighborhood owns some decorations, but it will be important for the planning team to get started ASAP….to order other supplies and decorations for a successful event! And Halloween will be here before you know it!

Also, we will need volunteers (ages 13-to 103!!

I hope to hear from as many people as possible so that the annual festivities can continue!

Thank you!!

Contact if you’d like to be involved


Plant a Free Tree!

Arlington County works to extend and preserve its tree canopy. Trees shade us in summer and offer homes for birds and wildlife. They turn carbon dioxide to oxygen. They beautify the landscape. They increase your property value.

Arlington property owners can apply for a grant to get a native tree planted in their yard or green space. You can apply online by going to this address:

By June 22

At no cost to you,  the County will plant a 7-8 foot

Red maple


River Birch


Pin Oak

Swamp oak

American Holly



“integrated Option” is back on the table

At the most recent meeting of the School  Board, APS office of facilities formally recommended the Integrated option for Reed. This is something of a reversal, since a week before they had dropped the Integrated option when cost estimates put it over budget by about 5 million dollars. You can see their recommendation at  this link

To recap, and simplify, in a six month process that began in September 2017, citizen advisory committees to the school board and county board met with APS and county employees and with VMDO architects to consider the Reed site for a 725 seat neighborhood elementary school.  The committees recommended the “integrated option,” which partially demolishes the existing building and puts a new multi story school in its place. The integrated building preserved green space and was thought to be under budget.

On closer examination, in light of increasing costs, the new estimates showed the school to be about 5 million dollars over budget. The committees were directed to reconsider two options which had earlier been rejected.

There was widespread dismay at this. The other two options involved using the existing building, which is poorly designed for upper level Elementary students, and also adding an entirely new build where the baseball field now sits. Public unhappiness with this option was quite clear.

School and County Board members, notably John Vihstadt and Barbara Kanninen, determined that the Integrated option should remain viable.

At this point, the Integrated Option has been formally recommended to the School Board APS Facilities. The School Board will vote to accept or reject that recommendation at its next meeting, on April 5.

Still remaining to be determined: how to come up with the additional five million dollars.




Further Reed School updates

APS has announced the the option preferred by HPOK and five other local civic associations is now over budget, contradicting what they said over the last five months, and off the table. See the message from APS below. There is a meeting on March 14th, described to discuss the ridiculous mess APS has made of the process.


Reed Concept Design Update, March 8, 2018


The Reed Concept Design, which was originally scheduled to be presented as an information item at tonight’s School Board meeting, has been delayed to allow more time for review and consideration by members of the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC), the Public Facilities Review Committee (PFRC) and members of the community.

While staff had intended to recommend the Integrated option, that is no longer being considered because the design cost estimate for that option significantly exceeds the funding available for the project. The final design cost estimates completed by the Architecture/Engineering (A/E) team and the Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) were both higher for all six of the alternative design options.

To ensure that the School Board’s action is based on the most complete and up-to-date information, final estimates are prepared at the end of each project phase. While initial project estimates were developed earlier in the process, the recent final estimates were higher due to more information being available on each option. The current estimates reflect the latest construction costs, which are rising rapidly in the DC metropolitan region due to the amount of construction activity and reflect the most current prediction of future escalation.

Therefore, an additional joint BLPC/PFRC meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 14. The meeting will take place in the Reed Multipurpose Room, and will begin at 7:00 p.m. The focus of the March 14 meeting will be to provide an additional opportunity to discuss and hear input on the concept design cost estimates for the Bridge and Upper Lower options – the two options now under consideration.

Based on previous review, staff has determined that the following four options are not feasible, based on feedback from the BLPC and PFRC and/or cost estimates. • The Integrated option, which is the preferred option of the BLPC and PFRC, is $5 to $6 million over the $49 million maximum funding available. • The Standalone option is also $5 to $6 million over the $49 million maximum funding available. • The North option, while close to the $49 million maximum funding available, was not highly favored by the BLPC and PFRC. • The East option is under the $49 million maximum funding available, but is least favored by the BLPC and PFRC, and does not provide an optimal environment for learning.

The meeting on March 14 will allow time for the BLPC, PFRC and members of the community to provide feedback on the Bridge and Upper Lower options. Both options are within the $49 million maximum funding available. The final recommendation will be presented to the School Board at the March 22 or April 5 School Board meeting. Individuals wishing to provide input may do so during the public comment section of the March 14 meeting. For those who cannot attend, they may contact the BLPC/PFRC or email comments to






Reed School Updates

Five local civic Associations–Dominion Hills, HPOK, Madison Manor, Tara/Leeway Heights, and Westover Village–have written a joint letter supporting the Integrated option and calling for Reed to be a neighborhood school, consistent with the School Board’s decision last September.

To: Arlington School Board
Arlington County Board
Re: Reed School


Dear Members of the School Board and County Board:

The five civic associations in the greater Westover area , Westover Village, Tara Leeway Heights, Highland Park/Overlee Knolls, Dominion Hills, and Madison Manor, are united in their very strong support for the “Integrated Option.” Members of our civic associations have reviewed the proposals in detail, discussed them in meetings, and taken comment via social media and in countless personal discussions with concerned residents. We are convinced that the Integrated Option is far and away the best solution. It comes in at or under budget; it presents a compact footprint, preserving green space, and it offers a chance to build a new school to the high standards Arlington works to uphold. The alternative proposals would impinge significantly on green space while offering no budgetary advantages. We are particularly concerned that the “Standalone” option, which has been almost universally rejected, would intensify use of the Reed site beyond the scope of the charge laid out to the BLPC/PFRC in September 2017 and beyond what the site can reasonably bear. We urge you to reject the Standalone Option.

We would like to add our unambiguous support for adhering to the existing schedule and board-approved plan for establishing the new Reed Elementary as a neighborhood school, with an expansive walk zone. As currently drawn the walk zone for the Reed School encompass 601 students, the largest number in the County. We believe that zone should be expanded to include the immediate area south of Washington Blvd. Residents and their children routinely cross Washington Blvd. at all hours to go to the Library, or to the Westover shops. The County has done an admirable job making that crossing safe; crossing guards would make it more so. Expanding the walk zone to its natural boundary of Rt. 66 would result in virtually every one of the 725 students at Reed walking to school. Reducing buses saves money, makes environmental sense and is better for our children’s health; money saved from eliminating bussing can be reinvested in our children’s classes.

Making Reed an option school is not in keeping with the charge to the BLPC/PFRC, mentioned above. It would also go against the clearly expressed preference of our communities over the last decade. Putting an option school in the center of the largest walk zone in the County makes little sense financially, environmentally, or geographically. Bussing children away from a school in easy walking distance makes no sense at all.

Thank you

Carly Kelly, President, Madison Manor
Lilith Christiansen, President, Westover Village
Jon Judah, President, Tara-Leeway Heights
Mike O’Malley, President, HPOK
Brian Hannigan, Acting President, Dominion Hills