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    Broad Run at front of public capital improvement concerns

    After just one work session in the fiscal 2015 to 2020 Capital Improvement Plan process, it's apparent what construction project will be the most hotly contested.

    Dominating the Nov. 18 discussion public hearing was the Broad Run High School classroom addition and renewal and the installation of synthetic turf at eight high schools.

    A total of eight speakers addressed the School Board, all stating their case for Broad Run's expansion.

    Both projects are listed on the plans for placement or discussion. Their funding year has yet to be determined.

    Robyn Griffis, a social studies teacher at Broad Run for 12 years, was in favor of supporting the addition to one of the oldest high schools in Loudoun.

    “Broad Run is in much need of renovation. Our school was built over 40 years ago and consequently there are many areas in disrepair,” Griffis said. “We are somewhat frustrated that many schools have received renovations already and they are rather young including Freedom High School on our last referendum.

    “As a teacher in this county I hear the word equity a lot and this is how I am supposed to treat my students. I only ask that the same is given to our students at Broad Run. It's time for us to have our renovations,” Griffis said.

    Griffis concluded she hoped the board would make the projects at Broad Run a priority.

    Additionally, Fred Reitzel, a member of the Broad Run Athletic Boosters, said he felt the fields shouldn't be a School Board only project but other funding avenues should also be responsible.

    “Our ticket booth is about falling down. Our press box had water damage and is about falling down. The baseball press box is also at the end,” Reitzel said. “Creating a funding program where that becomes a program put in place. I don't know why the School Board has to fund that. I think you ought to be able to get funding from Parks and Recreation and other agencies withing the county government.”

    School Board member Debbie Rose (Algonkian) noted she is most interested in a project that will best provide students with the atmosphere they need to be successful.

    “I am very supportive of trying to find a way to get adequate classrooms and the renovations necessary for that where there is going to be an impact on student education and on the quality of what is happening inside the classroom,” Rose said.

    Rose went on to explain to Broad Run supporters that there are other important projects and issues the board must consider.

    “There are really some tough decisions we have to make. We have to find a facility to move forward with an expanded [Academy of Science] or Monroe Tech or the Loudoun version of T.J.,” Rose said. “This is all part of how are we going to slice up the pie. I am going to be very supportive of classroom renovations and additions, but I am not sure that this time a press box or concession stand are things that should be supported by the local community there. That is just my thoughts right now.”

    Under the currently proposed CIP, which was introduced Nov. 12, the total cost of all projects is $627,470,000.

    That total includes the construction and design of six new schools – two elementary, two middle and two high schools. Also included is the highly-anticipated Loudoun Advanced Technology Academy.


    Comments

    All 3 graduated and 2 have since graduated college. Sounds like a very successful family to be sure but maybe it’s the constraints at Broad Run that helped them achieve instead of holding them back. It sounds like a very conducive atmosphere proven by your own children’s example. Kids adapt and overcome and they learn also.


    I am the parent of three children who have attended Loudoun County public schools, and all three graduated from Broad Run High School.  The teachers, guidance counselors and Administration have all been exemplary, and my children received a wonderful education at Broad Run.  Two have now graduated from college and are successful and my third is a college freshman.  While I can cite many examples of their fine education, I am extremely discouraged and frustrated by the comments of Debbie Rose (Algonkian).  She notes, “that she is most interested in a project that will best provide student with the ATMOSPHERE they need to be successful.”  I doubt she has ever visited Broad Run.  Just to name a few examples of how the school is falling apart: the ceiling tiles are missing, the plumbing is in a constant state of disrepair, rodents are a continuous problem, and the cafeteria is so small that students have to sit in hallways to eat lunch.  Let’s not even talk about the crowded hallways, where students literally cannot pass each other to go to class.  How is this environment conducive to learning?  Ms. Rose, please go take a tour of Broad Run and then report your findings.  I agree whole-heartedly with Robyn Griffis’ comments about the lack of renovations at Broad Run.  It is outrageous, to me, that Freedom has already undergone renovations, yet Broad Run, over 40 years old, still suffers from a crumbling infrastructure and Ms. Rose wants to put that on the back burner in favor of an expanded Academy of Science for the select few who would attend that institution.  Yes, we need an Academy of Science, but shouldn’t all of our high schools in Loudoun County first meet minimal safety and technology standards?

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