Loudoun County Public Schools Need More Money

Loudoun County Public Schools Need More Money

Loudoun County School Board Demands More Money for Renovations

The Loudoun County School Board met Wednesday, Dec. 30, to increase Schools Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick’s proposed 2007 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) by $40 million, bringing the total to $264 million.

School Board member J. Warren Geurin (Sterling) said this was partly due to a clerical error, which left out the renovations to Loudoun’s four oldest middle schools. Renovation requests were made for Blue Ridge, Simpson, Seneca Ridge and Sterling middle schools in the 2003 CIP, but there is still work to be done.

"Our initial bid for this project was $37 million. We were given $31 million, so we had to reduce the scope of our project in spring 2004 by $6 million," Geurin said. "We are calling this project's ‘phase two.’ These renovations and additions are what we were unable to do in the current project."

Geurin said the "phase two" project will cost approximately $13 million, $7 million more than what it would have cost in 2003 due to market adjustments.

The School Board proposed renovating middle school restrooms, cafeterias and classrooms.

Renovations in all four middle schools include additional service lines, new folding partitions and new dishwashers in the cafeterias, new folding partitions and the replacement of old folding partitions in classrooms, new wall shelving in libraries, new art labs, the installation of ceiling projectors in classrooms and new auditorium light-dimming systems. New restrooms will be installed in Sterling and Blue Ridge middle schools.

In addition to middle school renovations, School Board member Robert F. DuPree (Dulles) insisted on the construction of an Ashburn-area elementary school be moved up to the first year of the plan. This will increase the first year’s budget by $22 million.

"Many of the Ashburn-area schools are at or over capacity," DuPree said. "We need relief sooner rather than later."

Almost all School Board members voted for the adoption of the first year of the CIP to include ES-19 and the middle school renovations. Chairman John A. Andrews (Potomac) voted against the additional requests.

"I think we loaded too much into the first year," Andrews said. "I think these are unrealistic expectations."

OVER THE NEXT seven years, Loudoun County will build 12 new elementary schools, three new middle schools, three new high schools, an advanced technology academy and renovate four old middle schools and the Monroe Technology Center.

"We really need to build a new Monroe," Geurin said.

The board plans to begin renovating the Monroe Technology Academy in 2009, to be completed in 2011.

"We have an alternative school at Douglass in Leesburg. We would like to get Douglass students to Monroe Technology Center and be able to serve more students who need alternative school," Geurin said. "The school is too small for us to expand its information technology course offerings. There are a good number of students who want to go there."

The School Board set aside approximately $70 million for an advanced technology academy.

"We specified building the academy on the county’s ISA property," Geurin said. "We will go before the Board of Supervisors to make a presentation in mid-November [for the land]."

Over the next several years, Loudoun County will spend $983,930,000 on news schools and renovations. "That is $17 million short of $1 billion," Geurin said.