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Votes

School's Fate in Voters' Hands

Voters Scheduled to Decide on Funding Land, Improvements

When residents go to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 7, they will be asked to vote on the method of funding for an elementary school in what School Board chairman Robert F. DuPree (Dulles) referred to as the "fertile crescent."

The bond question is for a $19,750,000 elementary school in the Dulles South area.

Originally, School Board members projected the school to be in next year's Capital Improvements Plan (CIP). However, after reviewing last year's census, the school system's administration recommended accelerating the funding of the project one year and Board of Supervisors backed the decision, DuPree said.

According to last year's census, the Dulles South area has the largest population of 5-year-olds in the country. That means, the students are coming. They may not be in school now, but they soon will be.

"The number of 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds is very large also," DuPree said. "That's why they call it the 'fertile crescent.'"

THE NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL will most likely impact students in the South Riding area, including Little River, Hutchison Farm and Pinebrook elementary school students, DuPree said, but there's no way to be sure until the boundaries are drawn.

"We're experiencing a student boom," he said.

Sam Adamo, director of Planning and Legislative Services, said all schools in the Route 50 corridor are either at or over capacity.

The School Board chairman said Arcola Elementary School, scheduled to be built in fall 2007 in the Stone Ridge subdivision, will most likely relieve Pinebrook Elementary School. However, the School Board has scheduled three community input meetings on attendance boundaries. After reviewing the information, the school's administration will recommend attendance boundaries to the School Board Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Once the School Board determines Arcola Elementary School's attendance boundaries, it will have a better idea of which elementary schools will be directly impacted by the new Dulles South area school.

THE BOARD OF Supervisors has already approved the project in its fiscal year 2007 CIP, but it is up to residents on how to fund it. If the general obligations bond is not passed, the Board of Supervisors must find another way to pay for it.

In response to all the bond questions, Sam Adamo, director of Planning and Legislative Services, said these are things the county needs to keep up with growth.

"There's just so much growth in this area. It is going to be challenging keeping up with it."