The cabinets and shelves in the hallways of the North Street administration building can go back where they belong.
“There’s just no space,” said Sam Adamo, director of planning and legislative services, about the Loudoun County Public Schools building, built in Leesburg in 1925 and crowded for the past 10 years. “We’ve got four people sharing a 12 by 12 space. We have filing cabinets strewn throughout the halls. We have no storage space,” he said.
Adamo’s concerns will not hold true in 2004 when the new administration building is expected to open. The School Board authorized on Tuesday purchasing 13.4 acres of land in the Broadlands subdivision. Terrabrook, the subdivision’s developer, agreed to sell the land for $2.77 million, or $4.75 a square foot. The purchase price is included in the $26.09 million the Board of Supervisors approved last summer for the building project.
“We looked at several locations in Loudoun County and found this to be the most favorable,” Adamo said at the school board meeting following a 20-minute executive session.
The Broadlands property is located south of the Dulles Greenway, or Route 267, between Belmont Ridge Road and Claiborne Parkway.
“When all the future roads are built, this is going to be an accessible site,” said School Board Chairman Joseph Vogric (Dulles). The district searched for vacant buildings but could not find any that were suitable and in a location to serve the county, he said.
“This location is in the geographic center of the county [and] in the population center of the county,” said Warren Geurin (Sterling).
THE ARCHITECT’S initial plans are expected to be presented to the School Board later this month. Pennsylvania company Hayes and Large began work five to six months ago to design a five-story building 150,000 square feet in size.
Comparatively, the North Street office is in a one-story building formerly used as a high school. The building houses several administration offices, including personnel, instruction, planning and legislative services, and business and financial services. Pupil and support services are housed in the Douglass Support Facility, also in Leesburg. Additional offices are in the old Round Hill and Ashburn schools. The available space in the four buildings is about 105,000 to 110,000 square feet.
“To have everybody in one place working together is a dream of ours,” said Vice-Chair Candyce Cassell (Sugarland Run).
The overall site planning process is expected to take until March or April of next year, Adamo said. At that time, the project can be put out to bid if the district receives the necessary permits and the Board of Supervisors approves the site plan. Construction is expected to take another 18 months, with the building opening by fall 2004.