Leesburg rainfall totals from May 3-5 aren’t particularly high for the month of May, but swollen streams in Lansdowne show dramatic effects of erosion that has occurred since construction of Riverside High School (RHS). It opened in September 2015 on land purchased by the Loudoun Board of Supervisors from the National Conference Center (NCC) in 2011. Total rainfall in May so far is 1.2 inches.
NCC’s new owners seek a rezoning from Loudoun County to allow construction of 137 townhomes, grouped on either side of the compromised streams. They will drain into the same basin where these photos show new routes being carved out to accomodate the speed and volume of water draining from the steep slopes along the Potomac River — also the source of drinking water for downstream residents in Fairfax County.
Before the high school was built, the second owner of the NCC had fallen behind on payments for a $50 million loan taken out in 2005 to finance construction of a ballroom to update the 1974 facility, originally built by Xerox for training. Part of the NCC property was sold to Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors as a high school site after a controversial appraisal in March 2011 raised the value of the property, at least on paper, and was reduced by the Board of Equalization three months later. Road improvements, ostensibly built for the high school, also made the NCC more attractive to a new purchaser, and the NCC property changed hands f0r just the third time in 2014.
Because of challenging environmental constraints, a popular county-owned sports park that had been proffered by the developer of Lansdowne on the Potomac ultimately became the high school site when it could not be constructed on the newly-purchased NCC property. Instead, school ball fields, not generally accessible by the public for youth league games, were built on newly-graded slopes formerly owned by the NCC. These drain into the now-compromised streams which flow to the Potomac River less than a mile away.
The NCC is presently used as the training site for workers willing to cross Verizon picket lines to temporarily fill jobs of striking workers.
See: Loudoun County LOLA
Application Name:NATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTER EAST
(See also: National Conference Center West)
Description:Rezone from approximately 49 acres from PD-SA…