0
Votes

Bond To Fund Lake Anne Renovation Planning

People who’ve driven the streets of Reston recently might have noticed the signs that say, “School Bond 2005: Vote Yes.”

While the school bond this year eclipses $246 million, Reston schools are slated specifically to receive $1 million, which will go towards renovation planning for Lake Anne Elementary School.

For Ridge Loux, school bond district chair for Hunter Mill, the decision to support the bond is an easy one. He points to South Lakes High School, which is beginning its three-year, $57 million renovations in November. Those renovations were paid for by the 2003 school bond, said Loux, who served as the past immediate president of the South Lakes PTA.

“For those of us who fought for South Lakes renovation money, it’s now our turn to do our part for the rest of the county,” said Loux. “It’s our obligation as residents of the county to keep our education quality high.”

Stuart Gibson, who represents Reston on the county School Board, explained that school bonds are used to maintain the structure of the schools, which he pointed out are often used for much more than facilitating education.

While about 165,000 students use the county’s schools each year, many more thousands use the schools for other activities. Thousands of people use the schools to participate in recreational activities, like basketball and volleyball. The 538 athletic fields part of Fairfax County Public Schools were used in last year’s recreation program. Eight schools throughout the county are also used as teen centers. More than 90,000 people use the schools as part of continuing adult education. One FCPS program provides more than 150,000 meals to senior citizens at 35 school sites.

For Lake Anne, which is lined up to receive planning money this year, a much more sizeable chunk of funding may be waiting as part of a future school bond. According to Gibson, schools that receive renovation planning money usually get the money for that renovation either in the first or second following school bond, which take place every two years. That was the case for South Lakes, which received planning money and then two school bonds later was allocated the $57 million for renovation.

In the Hunter Mill district, which Reston is a part, several other schools were allocated money. Oakton Elementary School is lined up to receive $1 million for renovation planning. Marshall High School is scheduled to receive $2 million for renovation planning.

There is $19 million slated for a new elementary school in Herndon, called Coppermine, which Gibson said would alleviate pressure at McNair and Floris Elementary schools.

Also Vienna Elementary School is scheduled to receive more than $12 million for renovations. Freedom Hill Elementary School, also in the Hunter Mill district, is set to receive nearly $13 million for renovations.

Gibson points out that all the schools benefit from money that is allocated for infrastructure and technology improvements, which is earmarked for $35 million.

Several school bonds in the past have received more than 70 percent approval from voters. The last school bond to fail in the county was in 1974.

<1b>— Jason Hartke

People who’ve driven the streets of Reston recently might have noticed the signs that say, “School Bond 2005: Vote Yes.”

While the school bond this year eclipses $246 million, Reston schools are slated specifically to receive $1 million, which will go towards renovation planning for Lake Anne Elementary School.

For Ridge Loux, school bond district chair for Hunter Mill, the decision to support the bond is an easy one. He points to South Lakes High School, which is beginning its three-year, $57 million renovations in November. Those renovations were paid for by the 2003 school bond, said Loux, who served as the past immediate president of the South Lakes PTA.

“For those of us who fought for South Lakes renovation money, it’s now our turn to do our part for the rest of the county,” said Loux. “It’s our obligation as residents of the county to keep our education quality high.”

Stuart Gibson, who represents Reston on the county School Board, explained that school bonds are used to maintain the structure of the schools, which he pointed out are often used for much more than facilitating education.

While about 165,000 students use the county’s schools each year, many more thousands use the schools for other activities. Thousands of people use the schools to participate in recreational activities, like basketball and volleyball. The 538 athletic fields part of Fairfax County Public Schools were used in last year’s recreation program. Eight schools throughout the county are also used as teen centers. More than 90,000 people use the schools as part of continuing adult education. One FCPS program provides more than 150,000 meals to senior citizens at 35 school sites.

For Lake Anne, which is lined up to receive planning money this year, a much more sizeable chunk of funding may be waiting as part of a future school bond. According to Gibson, schools that receive renovation planning money usually get the money for that renovation either in the first or second following school bond, which take place every two years. That was the case for South Lakes, which received planning money and then two school bonds later was allocated the $57 million for renovation.

In the Hunter Mill district, which Reston is a part, several other schools were allocated money. Oakton Elementary School is lined up to receive $1 million for renovation planning. Marshall High School is scheduled to receive $2 million for renovation planning.

There is $19 million slated for a new elementary school in Herndon, called Coppermine, which Gibson said would alleviate pressure at McNair and Floris Elementary schools.

Also Vienna Elementary School is scheduled to receive more than $12 million for renovations. Freedom Hill Elementary School, also in the Hunter Mill district, is set to receive nearly $13 million for renovations.

Gibson points out that all the schools benefit from money that is allocated for infrastructure and technology improvements, which is earmarked for $35 million.

Several school bonds in the past have received more than 70 percent approval from voters. The last school bond to fail in the county was in 1974.

— Jason Hartke