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New School, Magnet Program Proposed for Manassas Schools

City and school administrators presented Capital Improvement Plan at the Candy Factory on Monday.

A new Baldwin Elementary School, as well as a magnet school, may be in the cards for Manassas, if school division’s joint Capital Improvement Plan with the city materializes the way school and city administrators hope.

The Manassas School Board and the Manassas City Council met Monday to hear presentations from city manager John Budesky and superintendent of schools Catherine Magouyrk on the Capital Improvement Plan, (CIP) a document that lays out the city’s construction needs and funding for the next five years and beyond.

View the entire CIP here.

A new Baldwin Elementary is needed in part because the city and schools are growing, Magouyrk said during the meeting.

“We’re growing and we’re growing out of buildings,” she said.

School division educators are also growing in how they teach, Magouyrk added.

Going back to the 1980s, there wasn’t much technology and so there wasn’t a need for labs, she said.

There was also a time when the federal government didn’t say schools had to have certain class sizes to meet the needs of children. Right now, Mayfield Intermediate School is at capacity, Magouyrk said.

School and city staff are considering the idea of a new Baldwin school that would educate grade levels third to sixth in addition to the Kindergarten through fourth grade students it already educates.

Baldwin would be made a “school within a school,” meaning the building would have a special wing for the students enrolled in a specialty or magnet program, said Almeta Radford, Manassas City Public Schools spokeswoman and CIP committee member.

That specialty program can be thought of as a second "school" within Baldwin with all the students sharing the gym, cafeteria and other common areas.

The school could have a theme such as STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) or fine arts, the superintendent said.

The school district is open to implementing any option that effectively uses taxpayer dollars, Magouyrk said.

A proposed option is to use the current location of the Manassas schools central office as the new Baldwin, then relocate central office to a lot that hasn’t yet been determined, Radford said.

The CIP also mentions the possibility for a new Dean Elementary.

The CIP mentions a renovation of Johnson Learning Center. As it stands right, now only the first floor is complete. The renovation would build out the center’s second floor.

Other major identified needs for the school division include:

  • A district wide technology upgrade
  • Metz Middle School Track Replacement
  • Metz Middle School Parking Lot Pavement
  • Osbourn High heat and air unit replacement
  • Haydon Elementary and Round Elementary roof replacement
  • Haydon Elementary School and Weems Elementary need a water source heat pump.
  • District wide-school bus replacement.
Charles Sutherland January 12, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Since now over 50% of the student enrollment is Hispanic, the most effective use of tax-payer funds would be to build a school on the Mexican border for all of the illegal aliens, instead of expanding schools to accommodate them in Manassas...! That would also save Manassas citizens the costs of many welfare and social benefits. Of course, instead of doing that, the school system could reduce the number of illegal aliens by enforcing 'original' birth certificate requirements and verifying their legal status by other measures, rather than pretending this is all against the law. But, more students, even if illegal aliens, means bigger budgets and more power to the administrators and the teachers' association... at the expense of citizens, AND, at the expense of American students! --- who have to endure money being wasted on ineffective ESOL programs for 'illegals'. Of course, one could compel non-English speaking students and their parents to work hard and learn by themselves, as has been done for centuries all over the world. But that would mean fewer English teachers and translators and other staff, and would reduce the budgets, and would reduce the power of the administrators. Can't have that!
Joel Barr January 16, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Do we have to raise taxes? I mean, if there is a larger population wouldn't that imply more tax dollars coming in? Our taxes here are already too high. I am paying twice the amount here for a three bed-room house than I was in St. Louis for a four bed-room. We were in the Lindbergh school district which I would wager is as good or better than the school here. We just didn't have all huge buildings full of city government workers we have here. There we had a one story building that was attached to the Fire House. The fire department was paid for with tax-payer dollars. Here we have an all volunteer department (which I applaud and support). So the question is why are our taxes so high to begin with? Can we make some cuts to pay any expanded class needs? My kids currently go to elementary school here and their classes are full but does that mandate a whole new school? Why is it always the default answer to always hit up the tax payers?

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