While the planned Dulles-area middle school still awaits a name, the Loudoun County School Board on Tuesday hired the company to build it.
The construction contract for the school referred to as MS-7 has been awarded to Winchester-based Howard Shockey & Sons Inc. for $51.19 million. The company has built several Loudoun County schools, including Tuscarora High School in Leesburg. It’s currently working on Brambleton Middle School, set to open in August.
The School Board awarded the bid unanimously without any discussion. It was the lowest of four bids, all of which fell within $2.7 million of each other. Another frequent Loudoun County Public Schools client, Scheibel Construction based in Huntington, MD, made the next closest bid for $52.4 million.
MS-7 will be built on land off Braddock Road near Aldie. The design calls for a two-story, 184,593-square-foot building with room to house 1,350 students.
In an effort to use every available seat in that fast-growing corner of the county, the School Board has decided to open MS-7 in 2018 as an intermediate school, meaning it will house grades eight and nine, while sixth and seventh graders attend Mercer Middle School, and 10th through 12th graders attend John Champe High School. It will serve as a typical middle school starting in the fall of 2020, when a new high school, HS-9, opens.
School Board members have said it was the only option to avoid crowded schools. Ahead of the opening of Woodgrove High School in 2010, Harmony Middle School in Hamilton served as an intermediate school for western Loudoun students. School Board member Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge), who’s children attended Harmony during those transition years, said it was a good experience.
“I never saw it as something I was looking to avoid,” she said. “I hope moving forward the public can see this as a positive solution for our students.”