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Groundbreaking ceremony heralds construction of new school in Annandale | Community Spirit

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Groundbreaking ceremony heralds construction of new school in Annandale

Fairfax County Public Schools officials, government leaders, and members of the Broyhill Crest community gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday afternoon to celebrate the construction of a new elementary school on Crest Drive in Annandale. The school is set to open for the start of the 2012 school year. ???

School board members Sandy Evans (Mason District), Tessie Wilson (Braddock), and Ilryong Moon (at-large); Del. Kaye Kory; Mason Supervisor Penny Gross; and FCPS Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Transportation Dean Tistadt posed with golden shovels to commemorate a long effort to build a new school on the site of what had once been Masonville Elementary Elementary School. When that school was shuttered in 1980, the building was converted into an FCPS administrative office known as the Lacey Center.

Evans (in photo below) spoke about Broyhill Crest’s “Build Lacey Now” campaign and held up a new sign stating “Building Lacey Now.”

“This has been a long time coming,” said Kory. “It has truly been a bottom-up effort.” She thanked neighborhood activists Debo Burk and Craig Meiser for their efforts to build support for the new school. Meiser chaired the committee that worked for passage of the 2007 school bond that included money for the school’s construction. “The community was engaged in this effort,” said Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross. “This was a good place to raise children 40 years ago, and it’s still a good place to raise children.” Gross said the old building held a lot of memories, noting that she held her first town meeting there in 1996. Tistadt said the school will be the first public school in the county with geothermal heating and cooling. Many of those at the groundbreaking said they hope the new school will be called Masonville Elementary, noting that adopting the original name would strengthen community identity. Broyhill Crest Community Association (BCCA) Past President Keith Taggart suggested calling it Broyhill Crest Elementary.   Moon said community input will play a big role in naming the school, but first, the attendance boundary has to be set. The school board created an ad hoc committee to explore boundary options for the new school, as well as make recommendations on whether it should serve grades K-5 or K-6 and review alternative boundaries to relieve overcrowding at high schools and middle schools in the Annandale area. Broyhill Crest resident Eileen Garnett, who was on the committee that recommended closing Masonville Elementary, says, “the community wants this school.” The BCCA approved a motion calling for the new school to serve the entire neighborhood; they don’t want the community’s children split among two schools any more. Broyhill Crest children currently attend Beech Tree or Woodburn.

Having a school in the neighborhood once again “will bring the community back together,” Garnet says. “Community members will again be able to vote here and have community meetings here.”