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School Board committee supports expedited Lucketts expansion

Lucketts Elementary has an “art cart” since the school doesn’t have a dedicated music or art room. Courtesy Photo
Lucketts Elementary School may finally get the relief it's been looking for. After months of parents asking the School Board to add classroom additions to the overcrowded school, the board's Finance and Facilities Committee recently voted to expedite constructing a three-classroom addition.

The committee unanimously voted to recommend the full board ask the county Board of Supervisors for funding to build the additional classrooms. The full board will hear the recommendation at its Oct. 10 meeting.

Amy Tribie, president of the Lucketts Elementary PTA, told supervisors and School Board members at a joint meeting Sept. 6 that the school, which was built to accommodate 256 students, is now well over 300 students. Tribie and countless Lucketts parents have told the School Board students do not have access to a music or art room.

Tribie's second-grade son has never stepped foot in a music or art room, and if the school system waits to add an expansion in the six-year CIP, he may never get the chance before middle school, she said. Alice Arnold's daughter in kindergarten is in the same situation.

Instead of a music and art room, Lucketts students have a cart that comes to each classroom. Arnold shared a photo of the school's art cart with the Finance and Facilities Committee. She also said Lucketts needs another assessment as the entire facility could use a renovation, starting with outfitting the entire school with sprinklers.

According to a Nov. 2, 2015 facility assessment, the building needs ADA compliant restrooms, courtyard access, stage access, exit doors and an administrative front counter. Additionally, the exterior walls show sign of age and weathering, specifically cracking at the front entry columns and peeling paint and rusting on exposed steel around the building. The school also does not have a generator and needs more lighting in the parking lot, as well as fixture replacements inside the building, according to the assessment.

Tribie said a classroom created in 2015 was made by blocking off a main entrance and exit and does not have any temperature control. Last winter, the students and teacher had to wear coats and bring a space heater to the class, she said.

“This should not be happening in the richest county in the country,” Tribie said. “At the end of the day, it's not about politics. It's about safety and giving them the space to learn they deserve.”

The three additional classrooms are estimated to cost $3.1 million. While the classrooms are built, Lucketts kindergarteners may be temporarily reassigned to Waterford Elementary School fall 2018.

Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @VeronikeCollazo.


Gee I wonder if the money used for unnecessary full day kindergarten could come in handy about now?

many western schools are starting to look tired and haggard. Lucketts, Lovettsville…it IS a shame..no, a crime.

Take a school that couldn’t be more on the outskirts of the county and while they have unheated classrooms and a “music cart,” they’re building pressboxes in Ashburn.  Why?  Because no one on the school board lives near them. 

Period.  That’s the reason.  No neighbors to run into at Harris Teeter and certainly no voters they’re worried about. 

Zero excuse for this getting this far.

Inflation? When we added 4 new bathroom equipped classrooms at Seldens Landing it was done in the summer with no effect to students and cost less than $900k. Was this estimate padded or was a contractor already identified instead of a competition? When does the school system start seriously considering what construction costs should be in a competitive environment. I only say this because the current artificial turf fields are obviously not getting prudent financial evaluation especially when being considered for fields already having a water well.
Bob O__ Esq.

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