Bond Referendum Set

Bond Referendum Set

Voters will be able to vote on construction and renovation projects separately this November.

This November, residents will have the chance to vote on eight questions on a bond referendum to finance the construction of three elementary schools and one middle school, renovations on three other elementary schools and the construction of a fire and rescue station in Purcellville.

Whether or not a new western Loudoun high school would be included on the referendum was not decided by the Connection's press time Tuesday night.

Eight other projects will stand as single votes, meaning residents will vote individually on whether the county should take on debt to finance the construction.

School Board member Robert DuPree (Dulles) had hoped the county would send the referendum forward as two questions, instead of eight, separating out only the county construction project in Purcellville from the school projects.

"We are one school system," DuPree said. "We are not a bunch of little school systems throughout the county. We serve all students throughout the county."

The School Board had voted to keep the school questions together earlier this summer.

Chairman Scott York (I-At Large) also wanted to keep the questions together, and worried that individual questions would allow some projects to fail the referendum. Even if the public voted against a bond for a project, he noted, the schools still needed to be built.

"We have to put these kids in seats. It's not like you tell the voters you get the choice of building the building or not, because you have to put the seats in," York said. "We have to be honest and tell them, if the bond fails, we still are in the position of having to build the school. That's what concerns me."

OTHER SUPERVISORS, however, encouraged separating the questions.

"I think it's only fair to let the voters make the choice on spending money," said Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run). "I think that's the principle of the matter."

"I trust the voters," said Supervisor Mick Staton (R-Sugarland Run). "I trust them that they can look at the facts objectively and come to the right decision and make that choice for themselves."

York and supervisors Jim Burton (I-Blue Ridge), Sally Kurtz (D-Catoctin) and Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) voted to group the bonds together, but were voted down.

The questions that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot are:

* Purcellville Fire & Rescue Station construction, $8,030,000

* Arcola Elementary School demolition and construction, $19,305,000

* New Elementary School at Harmony Intermediate site construction, $16,300,000

* Hillsboro Elementary School renovation, $2,420,000

* New Elementary School in Loudoun Valley Estates II construction, $16,300,000

* Rolling Ridge Elementary School renovation, $12,960,000

* Sugarland Run Elementary School renovation, $13,950,000

* New Dulles Area Middle School construction, $35,705,000

By press time, it was not clear whether the construction of a new high school in Purcellville would be included on the bond at $63,500,000. The location of the new western Loudoun high school has been a point of debate over the last year. The town of Purcellville has opposed a location within its limits.