In Our Backyard: The History of Lincoln Schools

By Jane Covington

On Aug. 1, 1938, a Western Union Telegram notified the county that PWA had taken favorable action on the application. The news quickly made local headlines:

Loudoun Schools Get $15,930 PWA Grant To Be Used to Construct New Building at Arcola and to Repair and Remodel Lincoln Elementary School. A loan of $19,338 has also been arranged from the State Literary Fund to supplement the funds received from the PWA. Plans and specifications are being drawn up and construction work is expected to begin in the near future on both buildings.

Lincoln Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School

However, construction estimates for both schools exceeded budget. In 1940, the Lincoln School addition was redesigned and re-bid.  A lower estimate was received and Loudoun proceeded with this work, independent of the PWA. The School Board adopted a 1940/1941 budget of $207,135, which included capital expenditures of $78,000 for construction of a four-room addition to Leesburg High School and a two-room addition to Lincoln High School. As a result, two rear wings were added to the Lincoln School.

By 1955, the school population had exploded again in the post-World War II era when Loudoun’s economy began transitioning from a rural economy to a suburban one. High school students were bused to Leesburg, and the Lincoln school was reserved for elementary school students. The next decades saw additional expansion of the school population. In both 1974 and 1989, rear cottages were added to the Lincoln School grounds, allowing for additional classroom space.

Today, the Lincoln School remains in operation as an elementary school.

[Jane Covington is the principal of Jane Covington Restoration. She conducted research concerning the Lincoln schools and six other rural Loudoun schools under contract with the Loudoun County government as part of a Certified Local Government Grant financed in part by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. In Our Backyard is compiled by the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition.]

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