Superintendent Recommends Rebuilding, not Renovating, Park View High School

At the Sept. 13 School Board meeting, Superintendent Scott Ziegler announced that he intends to recommend that the Loudoun County School Board rebuild Park View High School rather than renovate it. 

In his report, he recommended that the School Board consider funding the replacement in the Capital Improvement Program.

For months, Sterling community members have spoken during School Board meetings asking for a rebuild of the Title One school, citing problems like flooding, extreme temperatures, a cramped lunchroom and broken bathroom toilets and sinks. One student mentioned a recent fire and said the school felt like a “microcosm of the world.”

At the Aug. 9 meeting several teachers including Liz Thomas, a social studies teacher at Park View, and Julie Cacciola, an art teacher, spoke about the conditions at the school and the desire of the community to rebuild it.

Cacciola said teachers, parents and students have held information meetings in the community and canvassed the neighborhoods to make people aware of the persistent issues at Park View High School. She shared a comment from a mother of four children slated to go to the school. She said the mother told her “I didn’t think that Park View in Sterling mattered to people of authority in this county.” Cacciola said their crew is determined to make a new school building for Park View a reality, and issued a plea to the School Board to “help make this a reality.”

Thomas said she had gone door to door as well, and said she was struck by the number of people who spoke candidly about conditions that existed when they were students and what the students now face. She went on to say that the community “is incredibly aware of the building’s issues, and by extension seem to be extremely supportive about demanding a new construction.”

“Moreover, almost everyone I spoke to agreed that renovations, no matter how extensive, would absolutely not be sufficient,” she said.

Riverside High School senior Rebecca Weinburg spoke up about the disparities she sees between her school and Park View, and asked how a school in the same county, 20 minutes from her, doesn’t have the same opportunities or assistance as her school. She pointed out that while she sits in a spacious lunchroom at Riverside, some kids at Park View have to sit on the floor to eat their lunch. 

“Park View deserves a safe learning environment and equitable funding that will support the school’s needs. Loudoun County needs to put its existing schools ahead of the new ones being built and not let them fall apart,” Weinburg said. She ended with a plea to Ziegler and the School Board to “please consider rebuilding the school as soon as possible, so all kids in Loudoun County can share the same opportunities and safe learning environment.”

Park View was built in 1976 and has undergone five renovations since its opening, according to Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard. 

According to the Loudoun County School Board’s adopted capital budget, the school was set to undergo a $42 million improvement project, with design funding set for 2023 and construction set to begin in 2024. The improvements included an addition to the school to accommodate the growth of the alternative high school at Park View, William Obediah Robey High School; one baseball and one softball press box; tennis court lighting; an artificial turf field and lighting for one practice field; a reconfigured and secured vestibule; additional office space for administration and counseling staff; additional fine arts storage; and marching band storage and a marching band tower and other associated building renovations.

Funding for a ticket booth and concessions at the school were approved previously and slated in the Fiscal Year 2022 capital program initiatives and again in the FY2023 capital improvement goals.

“The building was designed at a time when education looked vastly different,” Ziegler said Tuesday. “Today’s educational environment needs to be one that encourages collaboration, exploration, creativity, and communication. I believe that the best way to craft this type of environment for the Park View community is to replace the school.”

“Additionally, I’ve tasked staff with developing policy for Board consideration that will enable us to systematically evaluate our aging buildings and make informed recommendations to the Board. We need to make sure our CIP equitably addresses the needs associated with both growth and aging infrastructure,” he added.

School Board member Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) said she wanted to “publicly state her support of the replacement of Park View High School.” 

A community information meeting for the Park View cluster will be held Nov. 10 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Park View High School auditorium.

The superintendent will present his recommended Fiscal Year 2024 Capital Improvement Program budget to the School Board on Nov. 15. 

11 thoughts on “Superintendent Recommends Rebuilding, not Renovating, Park View High School

  • 2022-09-14 at 3:57 pm
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    Hooray for Dr. Ziegler! I hope his critics will give credit where credit is due. Dr. Ziegler recognizes that Park View is beyond repair. So does Brenda Sheridan. With their support, I’m optimistic a spanking-new Park View will be built sooner rather than later. Happy Self-Improvement Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-09-14 at 4:13 pm
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    So we have financially illiterate people (Supt, teachers, students) opining on things they know nothing about. The difference in cost between renovating to correct all the issues identified and constructing a new building will be at least $100M if not $150M+. Just the debt service alone will be an extra $4-7M per year.

    I wonder what an extra $2M/year in operating expenses would do (~18 extra teachers). But none of these people (Supt, teachers or students) care whether students learn anything. These pretenders just want to have the same country club look and feel as the other spoiled teachers and students in LCPS even if they learn absolutely nothing.

    I have said countless times that all a knowledgeable parent wants is a trailer and an EFFECTIVE teacher for their kids. The rest of the wasted taxpayer $$$ in these schools are wasted. But nobody has ever accused Ziegler, the school board or any of the teachers of trying to effectively educate students. This school district is a dumpster fire.

    • 2022-09-15 at 9:40 pm
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      I encourage you to come to our community meeting. We’ve been fighting for this for a year, and it’s more than deserved. Your comments make zero sense.

  • 2022-09-14 at 4:40 pm
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    Of course parents want their kids to attend a new school, but demolition means loss of embodied energy – that is the energy used to fabricate the steel, bricks, ducts, pipe, wiring, roofing, and transport these materials to the site to construct the building. Young people need to know that the School Board cares about their environment as much as their education.

  • 2022-09-14 at 5:31 pm
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    This is beyond absurd! What planet are these school board members on to not see the political motive in this $100 plus million expenditure? The universality commitment of LCPS to parents and students is course quality given space is safe. Who got fired for letting Parkview be in such claimed disrepair? Does the Superintendent prevent teachers to transfer to newer schools when built? Ask your school board to produce the experience per school of teachers per school if you want proof of how hypocritical this is. When does the BOS take some responsibility for stewarding our tax dollars? Was there a study showing Parkview can be closed and all students transferred to the new school to be built to support the new 5500 home development just northeast of Dulles Airport or is that the real agenda here? Has anyone checked political donations lately? 🙂

    • 2022-09-15 at 9:41 pm
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      This is not absurd, this is something we’ve been fighting for for a year. And more than deserve. Sit down

  • 2022-09-15 at 1:44 pm
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    I, for one, am not opposed to building a new school versus continuous renovations. Just like a homeowner, you can only do so much patch work on an HVAC before it’s costing more money to maintain versus to replace. As a parent, I don’t want my children learning from a trailer. I want them learning in an environment that generates energy and excitement, as well as, safe and comfortable. Throwing kids in a trailer with the best teachers is not a solution.

    That all being said, Loudoun needs to obtain multiple bids for these schools versus always going with the same contractor. Loudoun needs to show that they investing taxpayer money versus overpaying. The problem is, with the current knuckleheads in charge, they are doing the latter. Further, I don’t trust any of them, and in the end, taxpayer dollars will be burnt while the contractor is having a good ole laugh (as I am sure are some of the LC Sups and LCPS board members).

  • 2022-09-15 at 1:51 pm
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    I’ve never been inside PVHS so I have no idea if a new building is needed. My question is where are they going to put it?

    Unlike the school’s further west, expansion was never a plan so the land around the school is developed. If they tear down the existing school for the construction where will those students attend class.

    Perhaps it’s possible but I don’t see it.

  • 2022-09-15 at 3:12 pm
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    I did not see this coming! A denizen of the ever-expanding government bureaucracy has advocated for the most expensive option possible based on little to no evidence.

    My junior high school was an old German military barracks dating back to world war one if not before. I managed to study the basic subjects in two years instead of three. And we didn’t have to worry about who was using the bathrooms or locker rooms either.

    Never ask a bureaucrat if the solution is “more money” because the default answer is “much, much more, indeed!”

  • 2022-09-15 at 5:13 pm
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    With enrollment down, wait and see. Perhaps use the buildings that are in nice shape more effectively. Tax payers don’t need another expense. The additional funds can be used to pay teachers better. Teachers, every woman’s field always say watch how much they spend on building more and more and you all get the same or less support. Watch them. They do this all the time.

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