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Crews Working Overtime To Finish Riverside High School

© Leesburg Today - 07/30/2015

Despite appearances, Loudoun school system leaders say Riverside High School will be ready for students before the start of the school year Aug. 31.

Construction crews are working overtime and on weekends to make sure of it.

The 46-acre site that will be the home campus to 780 students in 32 days-and counting-is still crawling with excavators, dump trucks, steamrollers and wheel loaders, as well as dozens of workers completing tasks inside the school building.

""There's still work to be done-you drive by there, and you can see that. But they'll be ready for the first day, because we always are,"" Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services, said.

Lewis supervised the building of dozens of Loudoun County schools as the system's director of construction before being promoted to his current position.

The Loudoun school system has built 54 schools in the past 15 years. But construction of the county's 15th high school has proved to be one of the most challenging.

""It was definitely the most difficult site we've ever had, particularly because of its environmental features,"" Lewis said.

The property, next to the National Conference Center in Lansdowne, is characterized by steep slopes, wooded acreage and wetlands.

""When it's done, it's going to be a beautiful campus, but there are extra efforts that we've taken to accommodate its unique features,"" Lewis said, referring to the site's trees, rolling hills and creek that builders worked to preserve. ""It takes some extra effort to not damage the landscape.""

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The costs to develop the site has helped make Riverside the most expensive school ever built in Loudoun. The county spent $20 million to purchase the land from the NCC, and another $74.9 million on construction.

Despite the challenges, Lewis said the project is about $360,000 under budget.

Students are expected to get their first good look at their school Aug. 20, at the ""Riverside Ram Jam Kick Off"" event. They, along with their families, are invited to pick up their class schedules, tour the school and watch the football and volleyball teams scrimmage.

For now, that open house is still on, according to Anderson and Lewis.

""That's our goal to accommodate that,"" Lewis said.

Go to lcps.org/riverside for more information on the event and to follow the school's progress.

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