Loudoun County residents approved all five bond issues Tuesday, Nov. 7. The general obligation bonds will fund the purchase of two new elementary schools, a new high school, the purchase of land of future schools and renovations to the county’s four oldest middle schools.
School Board members advocated for all five issues before the vote saying that the bonds were necessary in order to keep up with growth.
Sam Adamo, director of the Department of Legislative Services, predicted countywide enrollment to be almost 54,000 students by fall 2007.
"The students are coming," he said in a previous interview. "We need somewhere to put them."
However, more than 50 percent of voters in the majority of the county's western-most precincts, including Aldie, Hillsboro, Lovettesville and Middleburg, voted against four out of five of the school bond issues.
School Board member Priscilla B. Godfrey (Blue Ridge) worried about all the school bonds getting passed.
"Voters in western Loudoun have always been very discriminating in their support for school projects since the majority of the new schools have been built in eastern Loudoun," she said. "You will notice the renovation project, which thankfully bundled all the middle schools involved was successful in western Loudoun."
THE FIRST SCHOOL bond issue on the ballot asked residents to fund a $19,750,000 elementary school in the Dulles South area, ES-18.
Sixty-three percent of residents voted for the 875-student school and 35 percent of the county voted "no."
Round Hill and Hillsboro, Hamilton, Philomont, Between the Hills, Middleburg, St. Louis, Aldie, Lovettesville and Waterford, reported more than half of their constituents voted against the elementary school. All other precincts were in favor of it.
The voters also approved a new elementary school in the Ashburn Area, ES-19. Sixty-three percent of voters approved the 875-student school and 36 percent voted against it. The majority of Round Hill and Hillsboro, Hamilton, Philomont, Between the Hills, Middleburg, St. Louis, Aldie, Lovettesville, Waterford and Lucketts residents voted against the elementary school. All other precincts voted for it.
Residents also voted in favor of a new high school in the Leesburg area, HS-5. The 1,600-student school will alleviate Loudoun County High School and Heritage High School.
Sixty-four percent of voters approved the $74,770,000 school and 36 percent voted against it. Just over half of Hillsboro, Philomont, Between the Hills, Middleburg and Lovettesville residents voted against the new school. Ninety percent of Aldie residents voted against the new Leesburg high school.
THE THIRD issue on the ballot asked voters to approve the second phase of renovations to the county’s four oldest middle schools, Blue Ridge, Seneca Ridge, Simpson and Sterling middle schools. The $12,440,000 project passed, with more than 71 percent of the county’s population voting for it. All precincts were in favor of the ongoing project.
The last question on the ballot asked voters to plan ahead.
Sixty-six percent of residents voted "yes" to finance the purchase of land and infrastructure improvements for two middle schools and a high school. Sixty-six percent of residents voted for the $43,285,000 project. Just over 50 percent of Philomont, Between the Hills, St. Louis and Aldie residents voted "no" to the project.
"We need to plan ahead," Adamo said.
THE SCHOOL BOND issues were lumped together in one question for many years, but in 2004, the Board of Supervisors voted to separate the bond questions into individual items on the ballot sheet.
Now, each county project and school bond project has been listed separately.
School projects that fail at the ballot box are funded either through cash or through securing money from the state, Godfrey said.
The state charges a higher interest, she added.