Falls Church City Public Schools
George Mason High School in Falls Church, Va., is under construction.

Work begins on geothermal wells at new Falls Church, Va., high school

Dec. 17, 2019
The 200-well system will enable the new George Mason High, now under construction, to achieve net-zero-energy status.

The Falls Church (Va.) school district has broken ground on a geothermal energy system that will enable the new George Mason High School to achieve net-zero-energy status.

The city of Falls Church says workers will drill nearly 200 wells, each more than 500 feet deep, to install the geothermal heat pump system that will efficiently generate energy to power the school. Installation of rooftop solar panels on the school will enable the facility to generate as much energy as it consumes.

Construction on the $120 million campus began earlier this year. It is scheduled to open in 2021.

The new 300,000-square-foot campus has been designed to accommodate 1,500 students and will replace the aging, existing George Mason, which opened in 1952, the district says. The school has been renovated and expanded many times through the years, but in 2017, voters approved a $120 million bond request to construct a new high school.

The school district says it is aiming to incorporate enough energy-saving and environmentally friendly elements in the design of the campus to receive LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The design-build team for the high school consists of Gilbane Building Company, Stantec, and Quinn Evans Architects.

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