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.