The City Planning Department has undertaken a "Small Area Plan" to engage the community and neighbors in planning for economic (or commercial) development on the high school campus.
The George Mason High School and Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School campus is approximately 34 acres at the corner of Leesburg Pike and Haycock Road. As the City has considered the feasibility of constructing a new or renovated high school, it has also explored offering a portion (up to ten acres) of the campus for commercial development to help pay for the school.
Under the terms of a 2013 Boundary Adjustment with Fairfax County, the campus was brought into the City limits with an agreement that 70percent of the campus would remain in educational uses and that no more than 30 percent of the property could be put into commercial use. The Boundary Adjustment was important for two reasons:
- It allowed the City to have control over the zoning for the site and
- It means that any taxes resulting from commercial development are paid to the City.