The community of Aldie has started a campaign to save and expand its elementary school in the face of repeated threats to close the small western Loudoun School.
The Village of Aldie has had a school since 1858. It's current building was built in 1928. At one point it was the largest educational school in Loudoun County.
With a student body of 131, the school system is expecting to exceed its capacity in coming years.
To remedy the expected over capacity, the group is proposing a new wing attached to the existing school by a covered walkway.
The two-story addition will add a media center and library, an art and music room, special education room and nurse's office.
Currently, the largest class at the school has 27 students and the smallest class has 19.
A group of parents spoke at the March 25 School Board meeting in support of saving the school.
Kevin Piotter, one of the parents and supporters, spoke about the efficacy of the school.
“Having experienced two other public schools, from my perspective Aldie Elementary is second to none. It is not just the governor's awards and the other awards, but the decades old vision and mission that the school works with each child and partners with parents and cares for the unique needs for each child there,” Piotter said. “Some of these larger schools and more rigid schools is just not the perfect fit for all the kids. The percentage of kids that aren't flourishing in some of these larger schools is growing daily.”
Piotter implored that the School Board not close the school just because it doesn't fit the blueprint of a 900-student facility, citing it's academic foundation and ability to serve as an option for families whose children thrive in a smaller environment.
Laura Tekrony, another parent who spoke before the School Board, outlined the objectives of the campaign to expand the school.
Those objectives include filling the need for a half school in the fast growing Dulles South area, saving the county money by expanding an existing asset and preserving a historic asset.
Tekrony pointed out that expanding Aldie in 2019 will allow the county to postpone the opening and building of ES-28. By doing so the county would temporarily save $40 million a year.
“Adding 300 seats could postpone ES-28 another three years is what we predict,” Tekrony said. “Aldie has had its own school since the Civil War era and the future of the village depends on the school.”