Elena and I have agreed to print a guest post that will ultimately involve many of us here in Prince William County regarding the new elementary school proposal at Stonewall Middle. You will see this same post on bvbl.net. The ladies who present you with this information made arrangements with both Greg and me to disseminate this information to as many people as possible. Please let me know if you need to contact them for more information.  The guest post does not necessarily represent the views of moonhowlings.net administration. 

Guest post by Allison K. and Chris P.

While there have been no new developments built in the Westgate/Sudley area for 25 years, the PWC School Board is proposing that a new elementary school be built at Stonewall Middle School where the track and the bus lot stand today. For a link to the Planning Staff Report, visit http://www.pwcgov.org/planning/documents/PLN2010-00108.pdf

There are three elementary schools in Westgate and Sudley that are all less than a mile apart – Westgate, Sinclair, and Sudley. Westgate is two short blocks away from the proposed new elementary school, Sinclair is approximately four blocks away, and Sudley is approximately 6 blocks away.

Lomond Drive will be home to a new turning lane and likely a new stoplight, and student drop off/access points will be located on King George Drive in Westgate and Brandon Way in Sudley. The Planning Staff will let VDOT determine if stoplights need to be installed on Sudley Manor Drive and Lomond Drive. This proposed school would impact the Level of Service on Lomond Drive. Additionally, there is a gross tonnage weight restriction for trucks on Lomond Drive.

So why haven’t you heard about the plan to put an elementary school at Stonewall Middle School? Because the law dictates that only property owners within 200 feet of the school property line be advised of the County’s plans. A plan of this scale impacts the entire community!

The Planning Commission has the power to say NO to this project. All those interested in stopping this elementary school need to contact the PWC Board of Supervisors (e-mail bocs@pwcgov.org), the PWC School Board (e-mail MJOHNS@pwcs.edu;                                  GLATTIN@pwcs.edu;                                                 BCOVINGTON@pwcs.edu;

LBELL@pwcs.edu;                                       MOTAIGBE@pwcs.edu;                                             DRAMIREZ@pwcs.edu;

DRICHARDSON@pwcs.edu;                     GTRENUM@pwcs.edu),

and the PWC Planning Commission (http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=040073003100005693).
There is a final hearing of the Planning Commission on April 7, 2010, at 7 p.m., at The James J. McCoart Building in the PWBOCS Board Chambers; 1 County Complex Ct ; Prince William, VA 22192

We are preparing a list of drawbacks and comments for the Planning Commission, a few of which are identified below:

SJVFD is currently at 156% capacity. The Planning Staff Report says a new school with 850 students (don’t forget the teachers and administrative staff as well) would have no significant impact on SJVFD.

This proposed school would benefit few, if any, students from the Westgate and Sudley communities. The one development plan (Portsmouth Station) that may have created additional housing units on the eastern side of 234 has been withdrawn. New development and overcrowded schools are on the western side of 234, where any proposed school should be located.

The School Board should consider a possible land swap or purchase with the PWCBOS or PWCPA. The site at SMS is 1.8 acres short of the required 60 acres, with another 1.25 acres on a large hill which is unusable. The total acreage does not meet the county standard for minimum land acreage for this proposed school site. In addition, there is an eighty foot wide NOVEC easement that runs between the two parcels for this plan (this is contrary to the Comprehensive Plan).

The best solution would be to find a new site that would better serve the area of growth. Elementary schools should be in the neighborhoods they serve.

Stonewall Middle School Site Plan

56 Thoughts to “Proposed Elementary School at SMS Site”

  1. anona

    Everything every developer, park authority or school planning administration wants is supposedly a “done deal”. I think it isn’t a “done deal” until it is actually done. Until then, it is just a proposal.

  2. Chris

    UPDATE: Public Hearing signs at Flat Branch are related to a cell tower, and not the Godwin Dr. extension.

    Pathetic! The developers, et. al. need to remember there is a planning application process to be followed. I think it is far from a “done deal”. The only “done deal” is that that elected official will not get my vote/support in the future, and many others share my thoughts in this matter.

  3. Red Dawn

    Moon & Chris,

    See the attached … page 8 sec 5.0. It will run thru Bull Run Park and some talk of expanding Godwin to 6 lanes? . This document is from 2002 and sound like back then this was just a consideration. But looks like it’s in motion. WOW. I am going to look to at some areial photos to see where this would all fit. All of flat branch and Bull Run is a flood plain. This is interesting to say the least 😉


  4. DB

    I found a glossary of capacity definitions for schools at an alexandria schools website

    I tried to find out if capacity guidelines were determined by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) which accredits school systems in this area, but I could not find any info re capacity on their website.

  5. Chris

    I’ve uploaded a few pictures from the Stonewall Middle site. The sun was too bright for good shots. However, the most alarming picture is of the power line pole with 9 lines running on, and you can hear the humming of the volts. I’ve also, added a picture of the NOVEC substation that’s adjacent to the school site.

  6. Lafayette

    Planning Commission had DENIED the schools proposal!!!! Downside, the schools now have 10 days to appeal to the BoS. Hopefully, they will do the right thing and find a suitable site where the need is, and consistant with the county’s Comprehensive Plan. Thank you to everyone that has provided us with input. We are exhausted. Will have more details in the next day or so. We need to breathe.

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