Five New School Builds Deferred as Enrollment Stagnates

Loudoun County Public Schools administrators are planning to delay building five new schools because of lower enrollment numbers,.

Chief Operations Officer Kevin Lewis briefed the School Board on the proposed changes to the district’s Capital Improvements Program on Monday.

The construction of three elementary schools—ES- 24 in central Loudoun and ES-37 and ES-38 in undesignated areas—will be deferred by two years and will now be scheduled to open during fall 2032, 2033 and 2024, respectively. The construction of two middle schools, the locations of which are so far undesignated, will be delayed by three years. MS-19 is now scheduled to open in fall 2033, and MS-15 in fall 2035.

The division will also add an additional year to the construction timelines for all five of the schools, Lewis said, because projected economic growth and demand for construction work will lead to fewer bids on projects, and ultimately, slower building processes. Lewis said it is becoming increasingly difficult to complete building projects on time.

“I’ve been a part of over 55 of these construction projects. Loudoun County is the only school system I’ve met in the entire country that builds schools on the timeline that we do,” Lewis said. “We’ve been just on time a number of times, but our luck’s going to run out in some point in time.”

Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge) asked if there are any cost implications in building schools on a longer timeline. Lewis said there is no definitive way to determine that yet, but the new schedule might be beneficial to the budget. 

“I do believe that we pay a premium in asking a contractor to build a school in less time than we need to build a school,” he said. “The flipside of that, it costs more money to run a company for that amount of time.”

The planned new schools that are impacted by the longer construction timelines are those that have not yet been funded. The district is set to build two new schools that are already funded, and thus are slated to be completed on a shorter timeline.

ES-32, which will be built next to Hovatter Elementary School in Aldie, will take only three years to build and will open in fall 2025. MS-14, located at the Hartland community, also in Aldie, will be built in four years, opening fall 2028.

The board will again review the proposed plans and hold a public hearing on Nov. 29. The capital plan will then be presented to the School Board for adoption during its Dec. 14 meeting.

12 thoughts on “Five New School Builds Deferred as Enrollment Stagnates

  • 2021-11-17 at 2:37 pm
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    It makes sense to hold in abeyance the construction of these new schools until enrollment figures justify their existence. LCPS doesn’t have a crystal ball; it’s a very fluid situation. But clearly the health crisis & other issues have lowered enrollment projections. Thanks for staying on top of this, Loudoun Now. And Happy Holidays to All!

  • 2021-11-17 at 3:05 pm
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    Considering the horrible job the school board and the teachers and unions have done over the last few years no one should be surprised that enrollment in public schools is sliding. Private schools and homeschooling don’t have to worry about the problems intentionally created in public schools by the school board, teachers, unions and administrators.

    Over the past few years I have uniformly stopped voting for school bond issues. The county has demonstrated they can use the money effectively and people should be fleeing public schools for alternative forums.

  • 2021-11-17 at 3:54 pm
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    Scott and the rest of his Board comrades need to resign or the enrollment numbers will continue to decline. The entire LCSB is a laughing stock of the country and our children are the ones suffering.

  • 2021-11-17 at 6:16 pm
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    I can’t imagine why a parent would not want to send their children to LCPS (LOL). I’ll bet the private schools and home schooling numbers in Loudoun County are through the roof right now. Hopefully we can wake up and flush this “woke” school board down the proverbial toilet and bring in some people that have our children’s best interest in mind rather than have a school board that continues to push their liberal ideological practices on innocent children.

  • 2021-11-18 at 4:51 am
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    The public school system has failed American families. Parents should have a choice on where they send their child or children. It is tax money being afforded to the public schools by hard working citizens. Parents have the right to request vouchers and chose where their children attend schools. Private, or home schooling them should be included. When you meet in public with a school official, a minute to address issues is not enough and silencing parents is an insult. But not answering their questions is bordering on gaslighting and controlling the narratives so the public is not informed. Let parents leave with monies to programs they chose.

  • 2021-11-18 at 9:00 am
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    Is this the first reasonable action taken by the SB in recent memory?

    Now tell us about how many FTEs are going to be cut from the construction department as a result.

  • 2021-11-18 at 1:54 pm
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    I am a bit confused here: certainly that school construction changes is something we should know about, but isn’t the bigger story here that enrollment projections have declined? Yet, not a single word of this report references the reasons for such a significant change in enrollment. Was it not discussed at the meeting or is LoudounNow not including that story here?

  • 2021-11-18 at 6:12 pm
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    I always voted for new schools to be built in every election, but when our public school system became the laughing stock of the nation, I could no longer support LCPS and I voted against them this time and will continue to vote that way until this school board is either voted out or removed and sane people take their spots.
    If I had a young family today, there is no way I would send my children to LCPS, not a chance, even if it meant getting a second or third job, I would choose private school over the debacle that LCPS has become.

  • 2021-11-19 at 7:31 pm
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    The grievance crowd bellows about the school system…I get that they don’t want actual history taught to our children since some things that happened in the past don’t fit the narrative they tell themselves each day. I guess we can add a postscript to this apocryphal quote: “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross…and burning books and yelling at educators.”

    • 2021-11-20 at 12:44 pm
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      It’s deliciously ironic that you bleat on about the demise of history and then proffer a fantasy about something that will never happen.

      Good grief.

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