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Technology Academy, six schools headline new CIP

Over the next several weeks, the Loudoun County School Board will be finalizing projects under the fiscal 2015 to 2020 Capital Improvement Program.

The largest project over the six- year period is the design and construction of the Loudoun Advanced Technology Academy.

Other projects also include a total of six new schools set to be constructed: two elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools.

In fiscal 2015, ES-27 and MS-9 along with the design portion of LATA headline the year's construction projects.

Fiscal 2016 will have only LATA being constructed.

No schools are scheduled to be constructed in fiscal 2017.

Fiscal 2018 has two projects on the agenda including HS-11 and the conversion of Monroe Center into an alternative school.

Fiscal 2019 and 2020 are scheduled to construct ES-28 and MS-7 in 2019 and HS-9 in 2020.

The total cost of all projects in the CIP is $627,470,000, barring any changes made during the work sessions.

Sam Adamo, executive director for the Department of Planning and Legislative Services, made an initial presentation to the School Board Nov. 12 of the fiscal 2015 to 2020 CIP.

Adamo is projecting enrollment numbers to continue leveling off over the course of the six-year CIP.

LCPS staff projected an enrollment of 70,855 students in this year's schools. The actual enrollment numbers are 70,858 students, only three more than the projected enrollment.

After seeing enrollment skyrocket over a 10-year period from 1997-2007, numbers have begun to slow down and level off.

“As you can see and might imagine, we are starting to slow down a little bit as far as our growth is concerned,” Adamo said. “Loudoun looks like the rest of the country in births, but our declines are more moderate, which is attributable to the employment in this area which has been relatively objective because of the federal government's presence.

“From the mid-90s through most of the 2000s, we always had more kids showing up than we were actually projecting,” Adamo said. “Around 2007 that trend reversed and our enrollment numbers were below our projected numbers.”

According to numbers in the presentation, the percentage growth every year has fallen to only 4 percent or lower since 2010. In 1999 and 2000, the percentage growth of the school district was more than 10 percent a year. From 2001-2004, the growth percentage never dipped below 8 percent a year.

“Dulles North and Dulles South are our fastest growing areas and much to the relief of the chairman, Ashburn has finally started to build out and slow down a little bit,” Adamo said.

The School Board has several work sessions coming up during the next few weeks. The first will be Nov. 18, with sessions to follow Dec. 2 and 5. All sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the LCPS Administration Building.

The CIP is scheduled to be adopted at the School Board's regularly scheduled meeting Dec. 10.


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