Denise Powers of Lansdowne was one of four residents who spoke before the Loudoun Board of Supervisors on Sept. 7 in opposition to the purchase of 41 acres at the National Conference Center for use as a public high school. The purchase price has not been disclosed. No one spoke in support of the proposed purchase.
Chairman York and Members of the Board:
I am a Lansdowne homeowner and resident of Loudoun County for 37 years, I find the decision to build a high school on the NCC site to be a terrible mistake. I have no objection to building a high school in my neighborhood, because I used to live two blocks from Park View, but I do have a problem with the Board of Supervisors spending my tax dollars on architects, traffic studies, land surveys, and engineers over and over again trying to fit a high school on a piece of property that was not deemed to have a high school built on it.
The concept layout comparison that was given to the community in June clearly shows that both Concepts A and B have major flaws with extensive retaining wall requirements, steep slope disturbances, floodplain disturbances, wetland disturbances, offsite road improvements required, a parking garage, and a significant foundation design with Concept B. Students are being taught to respect our environment and, yet, the Board is willing to disrupt the very foundation that we teach our children. In addition, Belmont Ridge Middle School is being pushed into a small parcel of land to make way for this big high school. Did anyone consider how these students will be affected by this high school?
The traffic issues are being underestimated, the neighborhood was not built to handle the traffic for both a middle and high school. There is one major road to exit from both schools, and this road isn’t sufficient to handle the traffic of both schools no matter how it is redesigned. The second exit, which is being considered, only dumps traffic onto a very long street filled with young children. There are some parents who think high school students will walk or ride a bike to school if it is built on the NCC site. It is obvious they are not experienced with high schoolers. The fact is the students will be driving themselves or the parents will be driving them to school.
The idea that the Board would take the existing sports fields away from the county is unforgivable. We both know that a high school rarely allows or has time for sports organizations to utilize their fields. Therefore, young children, who participate in these sporting events on county fields, miss out because a handful of Lansdowne residents feel the necessity to have their own high school regardless of the losses that occur to others.
Dear Board of Supervisors, we definitely need a new high school ASAP. Whatever political game is going on with the purchase of NCC needs to stop now, because you are wasting time and money. Your minds need to be open to another location that meets the needs of a high school structure, whether it is Lexington 7, which is an excellent location for all the right reasons, or somewhere else.
The decision of this Board to put a high school on the NCC property is the worst decision I have seen in this county in 37 years. Please make an intelligent decision and abandon the NCC site.