Willowsford property a no-go for needed Dulles elementary school
Loudoun's School Board terminated its contract with the seller of a plot of land for a needed elementary school (ES-31) in Dulles North.
The decision was made unanimously after board members spent more than two hours in closed session in an April 28 meeting.
The contract between the School Board and the Willowsford Grant Community sparked debate amongst the Willowsford community, who didn't want the extra traffic and the obstructed view.
One resident at an April 8 community meeting on the school said a letter had been written by Willowsford's community saying 100 percent of them were against the build.
“The school is not suitable for the community … We were promised [by the developer] “nature scape” and do not want excessive traffic going through our community.”
School Board members worried about a possible lawsuit from residents.
School Board member Jeff Morse (Dulles) said the back and forth during the closed meeting led to the agreement that, had the location been a better fit for the school, they would have pushed harder to continue with the contract and eventual purchase of the land.
“Any legal challenges would delay what we're trying … to push forward,” Morse said.
Board members considered the possibility that the school wouldn't serve enough children in Willowsford and might foster bad feelings with the residents, who expected something different going into the property.
ES-31 is one of the schools pushed forward to alleviate overpopulation in the Dulles area. The School Board has been trying to secure land for the builds.
ES-31 is projected to open in fall 2018, if the process for finding a location proves fruitful.
“We'll need to find another school site. We'll have to go back and keep looking,” Morse said. “That's one we're really trying to get ahead of is growth and planning.”