Update, 4:19 p.m.:
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has announced it is investigating the vandalism at the historic Ashburn Colored School.
“The vandalism to the Old Ashburn School is reprehensible and will not be tolerated here in Loudoun County,” said Sheriff Mike Chapman in a press release. “We will investigate all aspects of this case and will be working with our school resource officers to develop any leads.”
“Now is the time for our County to rise above retaliation or revenge,” said Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) on her Facebook page. “We will let our law enforcement do their jobs and complete the investigation and as a county we will send a message that this behavior is neither welcomed or tolerated in Loudoun. This is not Loudoun.”
Meanwhile, donations continue to pour in to the project’s GoFundMe page. At 4:24 p.m. the page had raised $17,200 from 147 donors.
Update, 1:38 p.m.:
Since news broke this morning that the Ashburn Colored School had been spray painted with profanities and racist references, donations to repair the damage and restore the historic schoolhouse have been pouring in.
As of 1:30 p.m. today, $15,005 had been raised. One donor, Ashburn orthodontist Neal Kravitz, had committed to give $7,000 to the restoration effort.
Loudoun School for the Gifted has been working to raise money for the past 18 months to revive the once-abandoned schoolhouse. The project’s GoFundMe page initially showed that $6,000 had been raised toward a goal of $14,000. As donations came in, school leaders changed the goal to $100,000, which is the estimated cost to completely restore the 124-year-old building.
Original article, posted at 10:20 a.m. Saturday:
Those who are working to restore the historic Ashburn Colored School woke this morning to discover the building spray painted with profanities and racist references, including swastikas and the words “White Power.”
The one-room schoolhouse on Ashburn Road served Loudoun’s black students from 1892 to 1959. It sat abandoned for 57 years before the Loudoun School for the Gifted bought the property two years ago with the intention of restoring it and turning it into a museum on the history of education.
It’s believed the vandalism took place late last night or early this morning.
Deep Sran, the Loudoun School for the Gifted’s founder and academic lead, this morning said it would have taken a well-planned effort by whomever vandalized the school, to come out in the rain on a chilly night with several colors of spray paint.
“There’s so much that needs to be done in this world, to invest all of this effort and planning and initiative to do this, I’m so puzzled,” Sran said.
New windows had just gone in, which cost about $25,000, and the work to rebuild the foundation finished earlier this summer.
The full restoration effort is expected to cost $100,000, and more than $20,000 has been raised.
He called the restoration project “a labor of love,” led by the private school’s eighth grade students and supported by many donors, businesses and other community members.
Anyone with any information related to the vandalism is urged to to call Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919 or submit a tip online here.
Donate to the school’s restoration project at gofundme.com/ashburnoldschool.