August 6, 2002
Geared to relieve both Rocky Run and Stone middle school, the new $25.3 million Liberty Middle School will open its doors in September. Audra Sydnor is principal, and Doris Evens, Kathleen Quigley and Rodney Moore are all assistant principals.
Built on 79 acres off Union Mill Road, near Little Rocky Run, the 178,000-square-foot school has a 1,250-student capacity and is projected to open with 1,077 students. It was patterned after Rachel Carson Middle School — which lends itself easily to expansion by pod — and architect Sy Samaha won an award for its design.
"It's very child-friendly," said Sydnor. "I like the way the classrooms wrap around the locker bay and restrooms so the children don't have to travel so far. The building is divided into pods, and each team has its own pod — with lockers and bathrooms — so it creates a family setting."
Since it was dubbed the "Southwest County middle school" for so long, its interior colors are, appropriately, reds and blues, plus white. So it's a happy coincidence that these patriotic colors will go so well with the school's real name, Liberty — which was selected long after the color scheme.
Seventh-grade classrooms are downstairs, and eighth-graders will be upstairs. The 40 classrooms will have state-of-the-art technology, with TVs, VCRS, telephones and computers.
In addition, the school also contains three computer labs, three foreign-language classrooms, three art rooms, two synergistics labs, two health rooms, a drama room, three music rooms, three family-and-consumer-sciences rooms and six P.E. areas.
Each synergistic lab holds 30 students at 15 computer stations where students will "build" bridges, rockets and other projects on the computer. There's also a media center/library, kitchen, cafeteria, stage and a 10,000-square-foot gym that holds 600 people. And there's a lecture hall with projection booth, sound system and lighting board for performances.
<mh>Northeast Centreville Elementary
<bt>* A new, $14.1 million elementary school serving northeast Centreville is under construction in Arrowhead Park, west of old Stringfellow Road. Located south of I-66 and north of Route 29. It's earmarked for a September 2003 opening.
The old Stringfellow Road front will be the school-bus access route to this 17-acre site. The new elementary school is patterned after and will be a mirror image of Bull Run Elementary. It will have 36 classrooms and a 900-student capacity.
The northeast Centreville elementary is being built to relieve Poplar Tree, Greenbriar West, Greenbriar East, Willow Springs and Brookfield elementaries. It will also service all the new homes under construction in the vicinity of Stringfellow Road.
Since the new school will be right in the midst of the huge renovation and new-home construction of Centreville Farms, a great many of its students will also come from that community.