The Board of Supervisors has moved plans to build a new Dulles-area high school up one year, and an elementary school back.
Under the board’s newly adopted Capital Improvement Program, HS-9 would get design money in FY2018 and construction in FY2019. ES-31, which does not yet have a site, would be pushed back to FY2018.
Overcrowded Dulles-area schools are given first priority in the plan. Countywide classroom additions are pushed back from FY2019 to FY2021, while accelerating Dulles-area classroom additions from FY2019 to FY2017.
The plan provides funding to begin work on three Dulles Greenway alternatives: Shellhorn Road, Westwind Drive, and Prentice Road. The extension of Shellhorn Road, Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr.’s (R-Broad Run) signature campaign topic, runs parallel to the Dulles Greenway. Westwind Drive connects Loudoun County Parkway to Rt. 606, linking Brambleton residents more directly to Rt. 28 and taking them off congested Waxpool Road. Prentice Road runs parallel to Shellhorn Road further north.
Development of the county’s Hanson Park is pushed back one year to FY2018.
However, the CIP does not advance the construction of a link of Crosstrail Boulevard east of Leesburg, irking Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin). Crosstrail Boulevard is fully proffered, but under the terms of the proffer agreement, if the county decides to build the road instead of waiting for the developer, the developer pays no more than $30 million to the county. County staff members estimate the project will cost $35 million to $39 million depending on year, leaving county taxpayers to fill the gap.
Higgins argued that the cost of Crosstrail Boulevard, which increases the longer construction is delayed, can be offset by moving back plans for ES-31, which does not yet have a site.
Other supervisors said school class sizes have got to come first, even if inaccurate enrollment projections have caused the school board to make last-minute requests for new schools.
“Hopefully, moving forward, we won’t be in a position of having to accommodate so many schools at the last minute,” said Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), who chairs the finance committee, which recommended the plans, and who made the motion to adopt the new CIP.
Ultimately, the CIP as recommended by the finance committee passed unanimously.