Officials hold ceremony to celebrate start of construction on newest school
Posted on 10/31/2018
Picture of dignitaries with shovels at Prince William Parkway Elementary groundbreaking“There is much to celebrate,” Steve Walts, Superintendent of Schools, told the audience of dignitaries, PWCS staff, and others who gathered recently for the groundbreaking of the newest elementary school in Prince William County Public Schools. He acknowledged the work ahead for Marlene Coleman, former principal of Dumfries Elementary School, who will lead the yet-to-be-named school located at 4060 Prince William Parkway, adjacent to the Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center. The school is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

“I am proud to say that Mrs. Coleman has a great track record of success,” said Walts. “It’s exciting to think of the solid foundation for learning that our students will gain under her leadership.”

Walts continued, “Balancing the need for classroom space with available resources will always be a challenge for those in education and those who recognize the important role of education in our society.”

In his remarks, School Board Interim Chairman At-Large Dr. Babur Lateef cited collaboration with county officials to secure the 17-acre site, which includes more than two acres deeded to the School Division by the county. That acreage will become a soccer field, accessible to county residents as well as the school community.

During the event, School Board Vice Chairman Lillie Jessie (Occoquan) said she is ecstatic about the new school because it is the first new school in the Occoquan District since she joined the School Board in 2012.

Westridge Elementary School fifth-graders Kingston Mills and Madeline Sindt each recited poems, to great applause, and took part in the groundbreaking as representatives of PWCS students.

Interim Chairman Lateef summed up the focus of the event, directing comments to Principal Coleman.

“You have an awesome responsibility,” Lateef said. “The parents and guardians of more than 700 students will entrust their care to you and others. It is a solemn trust like no other. I wish you all the best as you move forward to provide an outstanding education for our younger generation.”

The project is approximately 26 percent complete. The concrete slab has been poured for the two-story classroom portion, and the masonry block work on stairwells is 75 percent complete. The ground-level administrative area, gym, and cafeteria foundation block work is progressing, along with plumbing and electrical below-slab utility work.

Virginia Senator Scott A. Surovell and County Supervisor Ruth M. Anderson extended congratulations to School Board members and the superintendent on their efforts to keep pace with the county’s growing student enrollment. U.S. Senator Mark Warner sent a letter of congratulations to Principal Coleman, which she read during the ceremony.

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