Leesburg Planning Commission Endorses Catoctin ES Expansion

Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg is one step closer to an expansion.

The Leesburg Planning Commission has unanimously endorsed plans to add a one-story, 6,000-square-foot addition to the rear of the existing 76,800-square-foot school. The expansion would accommodate three new classrooms, a resource room, an office, and storage space. It would also increase the school’s base capacity from 697 to 743 students. According to a staff report, the school had an enrollment of 658 students last September.

Also included in the project are safety and security vestibule improvements at the entrance to the school. Once the special exception is approved by the Town Council, the school staff hopes to begin construction next spring, and have it wrapped up by fall 2021.

The project first came before the commission for review in June, but commissioners opted to give time for school staff to meet with nearby residents over concerns about stormwater from the property. Residents who spoke at the Oct. 15 meeting said they had made inroads with the staff over their concerns, but still wanted assurances that more maintenance would be done to ensure runoff does not affect their nearby properties. 

A lingering concern voiced during the meeting was the size of a proposed berm on the school property, but the school staff said that detail is something that is worked out during the site plan review.

“We have heard loud and clear their concerns about the height of the berm and maintenance. We understand. The ultimate height of the berm will be contingent on the town requirements to address stormwater drainage issues,” said Sara Howard O’Brien, land management supervisor with Loudoun County Public School’s Planning Services. 

The special exception application now goes to the Town Council for final approval.

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