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Controversy over “Ferlazzo” school site settled; School Board goes with elementary school

The Prince William County School Board has indicated support for a new alternative plan for use of the school being built on the “Ferlazzo” site at Spriggs and Minnieville.

A letter from Superintendent Steve Walts presented the new alternative plan, which uses the site for a “Ferlazzo-area” community elementary school, instead of the previously-proposed relocation of the Porter Traditional School. The swap had been intended to open up Porter’s current location to relieve overcrowding in several elementary schools along the I-95 corridor.

Community meetings highlighted strong feelings both for and against the swap plan, while highlighting the overcrowding problem and the need for a long-term solution.

Members of the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) responded by committing to help the School Board secure a site for a brand new eastern elementary school to address the overcrowding.

The alternative plan restores construction of that school to the PWCS Capital Improvements Program; it had been pulled because of difficulty securing a site.

BOCS involvement greatly improves the odds of getting a site and completing the school in time for a targeted 2018 opening.

The change cleared the way for the alternative plan to keep Porter where it is and build the community elementary school on the “Ferlazzo” site.

Intended relief for the eastern elementary overcrowding problem would take longer under the alternative plan, but would also offer a longer-term solution.

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