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Manassas Local

New construction recycling facility to be built in Manassas

News
Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 3.04.08 PM

On February 24, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the request to build a construction materials recycling facility in Manassas.

The facility will be located at 6326 Old Compton Road, just north of the intersection of Balls Ford Road.

Residents and county workers will be able to recycle concrete, asphalt and wood on the site, according to board documents.

Additionally, a recycling materials separation facility will be built on the site, according to board reports.

Once completed, residents will be able to drop off these materials Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to board documents, the recycling facility is set for completion by May of this year.

No public hearing for the site has been set, and the county planning office has not yet sought input from area property owners, according to board documents.

Three charged with sexual assault of a minor in Manassas

News

On March 4, detectives from the Prince William County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit received a call about a sexual assault that was reported on Lomond Drive in Manassas.

According to a Prince William police release, the incidences of sexual assault began back in 2010.

The victim in the investigation – a 9-year old girl – has been sexually assaulted by three different individuals since 2010, when they were staying in her home, according to a Prince William police release.

The investigation showed that the instances began when the victim was 5-years old. 

A call was made to the Prince William police to investigate the claim after the victim told family members.

All three of the men did not know one another, and were all staying in the residence at different times, says a Prince William police release.

The suspects; Douglas Vladmir Monge Baires, a 39-year old Manassas man, Walter Antonio Canales Reyes, a 31-year old Manassas man, and Santos Andres Flores Rios, a 47-year old man, were all located and arrested by the Prince William police. 

Baires is being charged with two counts of rape, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of object sexual penetration.

Reyes is being charged with three counts of rape, and three counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Rios is being charged with one county of indecent liberties.

All three suspects are being held without bond.

Manassas Museum to host several new exhibits this summer

News

The Manassas Museum in Downtown Manassas is getting ready for the spring and summer with several upcoming exhibits.

According to Doug Horhota, Museum Programs Coordinator for the City of Manassas, it’s important to remember that the museum is not just for Civil War exhibits – and that the Manassas Museum looks at life in Manassas as a whole.

“We are the Manassas Museum – not the Manassas Civil War Museum. And that is one of our challenges here. But we try to focus on the history of Manassas – and that can be anything that deals with pre-contact, like the Native Americans…or it can include anything up to the current day,” said Horhota.

The museum is currently hosting an exhibit called ‘Impressions’ until April 12, which features artwork from students at Osbourn High School in Manassas. 

As it gets closer to summer, the museum tries to plan for more interactive and exciting exhibits.

“Each exhibit has its own subset of attendees that we’re looking for. We try to make it as family-friendly as possible, and we try to plan our more major visits in the summer months, when visitation is traditionally up,” Horhota said.

In early May the museum will feature an exhibit on the first responders of Virginia including both the professional fire company and the volunteer fire company – which has been in the community for 100 years.

Another exhibit coming this summer is going to include a partnership with the county, as they try to display the long history of the Carter family in Virginia.

“There’s a lot of history that transcends with the county, and so we’re doing a joint county exhibit on some of the more prominent land owners that date back to the years to before and during the Civil War – specifically the Carter family,” said Horhota, continuing, “Essentially everyone in Virginia is [part of] the Carter family – if you’ve lived here long enough…there’s a couple of presidents, generals on both sides of the Civil War, Washington’s a Carter, Jefferson’s a Carter – they are the first family of Virginia.” 

Horhota noted that the current admission into the museum is $5, but it will be free for all visitors during the summer.

Innovation Park brings high-tech jobs to Prince William

News

Innovation Park, located adjacent to George Mason University’s Prince William Campus, is continuing to grow and bring in high-tech companies and jobs to the area.

Innovation Park, a business and technology park space, first started back in 1998.

It now has more than 26 companies and 2,300 employees working within its scope, according to Jeff Kaczmarek, Executive Director of the Prince William County Department of Economic Development.

“To date, the [economic development] department has directly assisted in attracting approximately $720 million in capital investment by Innovation Park tenants, and the creation of over 2,000 jobs,” said Kaczmarek.

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science, the National Institute of Health’s Biomedical Research Laboratory, the FBI’s NOVA Resident Agency, Mediatech, ISOThrive, and Microvax are among the companies that utilize the Innovation Park space.

According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing components of Innovation Park is the Prince William Science Accelerator.

The Prince William Science Accelerator allows small technological companies to come in and utilize their lab and office spaces for an affordable cost, to help them grow.

The county’s economic development department has partnered with George Mason University to help Innovation Park grow.

Dr. Angel Cabrera, President of George Mason University, spoke with Potomac Local to announce that the university’s Prince William Campus is being rebranded as the science and technology campus.

Kaczmarek stated that their partnership with the University and the upcoming rebranding would help further their cause to develop Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator.

“From our perspective, the rebranding exercise signals exciting developments for Prince William County as it will heighten public awareness surrounding the campus…[it] is another step towards Prince William County being known as the science and technology hub of the region,” Kaczmarek said.

Kaczmarek commented that instead of having to drive out of the area for a good job, the continued development of Innovation Park would benefit the county, and grow the jobs where people live.

Kaczmarek also stated that the university would be able to further create a workforce that will be equipped with the tools and knowledge to go into these types of high-tech jobs.

In addition to the businesses in Innovation Park, and the Prince William Science Accelerator, another project the county’s economic development department, and George Mason University are working on is the Virginia Serious Game Institute.

According to Kaczmarek, one of the fastest growing majors at the university is their game development and design program.

“The Virginia Serious Game Institute, a public-private IR start-up [is an] incubator for entrepreneurs in simulation, modeling, and gaming,” Kaczmarek said.

The county’s economic development department will continue to work on bringing in new businesses to both Innovation Park and the Prince William Science Accelerator, hopefully bringing more high paying jobs to Prince William County.

Why were robots placed into the Manassas Park Community Center pool?

News

Robots in the pool at the Manassas Park Community Center. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
The Northern Virginia SeaPerch challenge held at the Manassas Park Community Center. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
SeaPerch identifies itself as a learning experience. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
Students place their ROVs in the water. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
An ROV out of water. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
An ROV in the pool. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
SeaPerch is an annual challenge. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
Medals were awarded as part of the SeaPerch challenge.[Photo: Mary Davidson]
Several students participated in the SeaPerch challenge. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
At the bottom of the pool.[Photo: Mary Davidson]
SeaPerch teaches naval architecture principals. [Photo: Mary Davidson]
Remotely Operated Vehicle [Photo: Mary Davidson]
Students operate their ROV. [Photo: Mary Davidson]

Students came to the Manassas Park Community Center on Friday and placed robots in the swimming.

No ordinary robots, the students built Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) as part of the Northern Virginia SeaPerch Challenge. Working with the SeaPerch, an underwater robotics program, students built their submersibles using a kit made of low-cost, easy to use parts.  The program teaches basic engineering, science, and math concepts, and tool safety.

Students also explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles. The SeaPerch name comes form the USS Perch, a World War II-era submarine, according to the organization’s website.

Ashburn woman earns Miss Historic Manassas title

News

Sarah Reed, a 20-year old Ashburn resident, was crowned Miss Historic Manassas, despite not being a Manassas resident.

Reed is currently a sophomore in Communications at Liberty University in Lynchburg.

“I competed [in] the Greater Prince William County pageant – they gave away three titles – Miss Greater Prince William County, Miss Historic Manassas and then Miss Potomac,” said Reed.

The pageant took place back in November.

Originally the Miss Historic Manassas title was going to be restricted to only pageant contestant that lived in the area, but only one of the twelve contestants was from Manassas.

“The qualification for all of the pageants in Virginia is that you have to be a Virginia resident. Originally, for the Miss Historic Manassas, it was going to be closed, which means you have to live in Manassas in order to win the title, but the only way they would be able to guarantee that was if there were more than three contestants that competed lived in Manassas.”

According to Reed, she feels that her experiences visiting the Manassas area equip her for the title, despite not living there.

“I’ve always loved learning about Manassas, and we live in Northern Virginia, and we’ve always visited Manassas to go to Bull Run light festival, to go to the [Manassas] Battlefield –so it’s really cool to now be representing it, because I’ve grown up going there, ever since I moved here,” said Reed.

IMG_6667During the pageant, Reed and the other contestants competed in several categories including swimwear, talent, interview and evening gowns.

For Reed, winning the title was a happy surprise, as she has only been competing since last year and has been involved in four pageants thus far.

“I was lucky enough to win one of the titles – which I’m so excited about. I just started competing last year in pageants, so it’s very new to me, and I’m really learning the entire process of it. So it’s cool to know you don’t have to grow up, knowing how to do pageants, you can jump into it, and as long as your passionate about something, that will show in every step of the competition,” said Reed.

During her time as Miss Historic Manassas, Reed will be implementing her anti-bullying campaign, titled ‘Beauty and the Beast’. For Reed, selecting this as a platform was something personal.

“For someone’s who’s been a victim of bullying, since they’ve been in first grade, all the way up to until senior years of high school, it is something that has been engrained in my brain. And it wasn’t until I finally gained confidence in myself, that I realized that no one has the right to tell me who I am and how I should be.”

Reed is working with the school system in Manassas to plan events and speak to students about the dangers of bullying, and how to get help.

“I want to be an active member of the community, because not only am I representing it, but I want to represent it with so much grace and responsibility – because I do take my title very seriously,” Reed commented.

Reed will be competing in the next phase of the competition in the Miss Virginia pageant next year. 

Bullet hole found at Manassas area home

News

The resident of a home in the 8500 block of Cabot Court near Manassas found a bullet hole in a wall.

Police were called to the home at 8:11 p.m. Wednesday after the homeowner found the damage.

The resident told police he heard a loud noise about 3:30 p.m. earlier in the day. He heard what sounded like a gunshot, according to police. No one was injured.

Osbourn robotics team to present project at Recyclefest in Manassas

News

To celebrate the 45-year anniversary of Earth Day, the City of Manassas Public Works and Utilities Department is hosting a Recyclefest on April 4.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Manassas Transfer Station on Quarry Road in Manassas.

The Osbourn High School Robotics team will be showcasing their recycling project. The team is planning to compete in an international robotics competition, according to a release.

At the event, residents will be able to recycle items including household hazardous waste, electronic waste and used clothing. They’ll also be able to shred documents for free, as well as see craft demonstrations and enter a raffle, according to a release.

During Recyclefest last year, more than 400 residents attended, and the public works department was able to recycle more than 20,000 tons in four hours.

“Two billion people across 192 countries will participate in Earth Day 2015, making it the largest civic observance in the world. The City of Manassas is happy to be part of the celebration,” said Monica Boehringer, refuse and recycling coordinator at the public works department.

Prince William libraries host adult reading program, contest

News

The Prince William Public Library system is hosting a “Prince William Reads” for county residents over 18-years old.

The contest runs until March 31, and all residents need to do to participate is to read books and enter a weekly drawing at one of the county libraries, including Bull Run Regional, Central Community, Chinn Park Regional or Potomac Community library, according to a county release. 

“Adults … can read anything they want, any kind of adult fiction or non-fiction titles, or listen to them on … audio if they like. They would take a form and fill it out with every title that they read, and take it to one of the four full-service libraries,” said Sallie Tiso, the Adult Services Librarian at Chinn Park Regional Library in a release. 

Drawings are being held every Monday throughout the program, said a release.

“You can only win one weekly prize, but people should continue to submit because that will make them eligible for the grand prize drawing that will be held on March 31st. At that point, we put the entries for all the eight weeks of the contest together and pull grand prizes for each of the full-service libraries,” Tiso stated in a release.

The prizes for participants are $15 gift cards from area businesses, which are being provided by the Friends of the Library groups in the county. At the end of the program, there will be $25 grand prize gift certificates for popular restaurants in the area.

The program is being done as a way to promote reading among adults in the community.

“We hope to promote reading on the adult level and just to encourage that by giving prizes for reading. What could be better than that,” Tiso said in a release.

Service Authority starts chlorine flushing program

News

On Monday, the Prince William County Service Authority began their free chlorine flushing program in the county.

According to a release, some residents may notice that there is a mild chlorinated taste or smell in their water until the beginning of the summer. This difference comes from the use of the chlorine in the water.

Typically Fairfax Water uses chloramine throughout the year, but the chlorine flushing is a far more aggressive disinfectant formulation, and this produces the smell and taste.

The Service Authority stated in a release that the addition of chlorine in the water is only a temporary change, and that it is necessary, as it will prevent bacteria found in the water from being able to form a resistance against the normal chloramine formulation.

Over the long term, using chloramine is a better option for the water system, according to the Service Authority, because it produces lower amounts of disinfection biproducts. These biproducts are possible hazards that can form when typical chlorine mixed with organic substances already present in the water.

Additionally, chloramine’s formulation is more stable in the water distribution system over an extended period of time, according to a release.

Residents should not see a disturbance in water delivery in their homes.

The Service Authority noted that the process of converting to the chlorine formulation for the time being will require drawing chlorinated water out of fire hydrants for the coming weeks. The flushing is also being done to allow any sediments or minerals present in water mains.

Manassas celebrates Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3

Manassas, virginia, city, visit

When you say the words “Founders’ Day” it brings back images of a kinder, gentler time when people shared stories on front porches. The City of Manassas is celebrating Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3, with restaurant specials, shops staying open late and, of course, birthday cake.

Stores and restaurants will be focusing on the history of the city and the buildings they inhabit.

This celebration is the brainchild of Councilman Ian Lovejoy. He was curious about the actual date the town was founded and in researching that date, found that the City was recognized as a town on April 2, 1873 by the General Assembly. The area was known as Tudor Hall, prior to that, until William S. Fewell, who owned the land, laid out the first six blocks and began selling lots.

The first official council meeting was held on May 17, 1873. Due to the town’s growth over the years, the town submitted a request to the General Assembly and in 1975 officially became the City of Manassas. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a half mile town concentrated along the railroad tracks, the City of Manassas grew to 10 square miles of homes, schools, shops and restaurants and more than 40,000 residents.

This Founders’ Day, come celebrate with the City of Manassas in Historic Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. The Manassas Museum will host a City of Manassas trivia contest and a book signing. Love, Charley will offer cake, The Bone will have a beer garden and City Square Café is offering a three course dinner special and encouraging diners to dress in period attire. These are just a few of the offerings for First Friday. For more offerings and information, visit visitmanassas.org.

Davis named dean for arts at George Mason University

News
rick davis

Rick Davis, the long-time Executive Director for the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, has been named as the new Dean for George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Davis, who has been working with the university since 1992, will be in charge of overseeing seven academic programs and two performing arts centers in his new role.

“I have worked on both academic, and non-academic fronts…I’ve had about five different [roles] at the University. The first was running our theater company, and chairing the theater department. And then I became interim director of the Institute of the Arts, which is a predecessor to the college that we now have. Then artistic director for our Center of the Arts in Fairfax, and then Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, and then I came to the Hylton [Performing Arts] Center in 2011,” said Davis.

The appointment comes after the current dean, Bill Reeder, decided to retire from the position.

“[The current dean] is retiring as Dean, although he’s staying on at George Mason as a faculty member in our management – which we’re very happy about…there was a nation search, that basically took from September till just now…I’m very honored and humbled to be the appointee,” said Davis.

While Davis is excited to get started as dean, he is no rush to transition a successor to the Hylton Center.

“We’re going to take our time and plan for an orderly succession at the Hylton. We don’t know what shape that will take – but I intend to remain in place at the Hylton for a while, because we currently have so many irons in the fire – so many things underway. I don’t see stepping away from that abruptly,” Davis commented.

According to Davis, his work over the years at the university, specifically as executive director at the Hylton Center has primed him for working as a dean.

“I think that my role at the Hylton has been to be a very public advocate for the arts as a whole, and for our work in the community. And I think that’s a good training ground for being a dean – you have to represent accurately and enthusiastically a whole range of art forms. And you have to be comfortable working across political spectrums, and fundraising and the community and all of those things are valuable in the toolkit of a dean,” said Davis.

There has been no announced start date for Davis to take up his new post at George Mason University as of yet. The Hylton Center announced their newest season lineup of performances last week.

Three arrested, man wanted for shooting in Dumfries

News

The Prince William County Police Department have made three arrests in relation to a shooting that took place on March 21 in Dumfries, and are still searching for another suspect that is considered armed and dangerous.

Prince William police responded to a call for shots fired on Saturday afternoon and arrived on the scene at Swans Creek Lane in Dumfries.

According to initial reports in a Prince William police release, multiple callers reported that there were two vehicles involved in the incident that were driving dangerously down the road, and shooting at one another.

There were no injuries reported after the incident, but there were several homes and a vehicle hit by the gunfire, said a Prince William release.

Detectives on the scene discovered numerous shell casings on the road and were able to identify suspects involved in the shooting. In a release, Prince William police stated that Deante Gaines, a 19-year old Stafford resident, was the passenger in one of the vehicles, a gold Saab. Gaines was with Paulina Gomez, an 18-year old Woodbridge resident, who was the driver.

Gaines and Gomez were eating at a restaurant located near Route 1 and Wayside Drive.

Two occupants from the other involved vehicle, Andre Perry, a 22-year old man, and Briana Colbert, a 19-year old Woodbridge resident, entered the establishment. According to a Prince William police release, the individuals all knew each other prior to the incident.

The four individuals left the restaurant, and Perry and Colbert left in a red Kia. The police investigation showed that Andre Perry was the driver and shooter in the Kia.

While driving down Swans Creek Lane, Perry and Gaines began shooting at one another, and Gaines sustained a wound from a bullet grazing a section of his upper body, said a Prince William police release.
Prince William police have arrested Colbert and Gomez in connection to the shooting. Gaines was arrested by the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force on March 23, and he is currently awaiting extradition, a Prince William Police release stated.

There are currently warrants for Perry’s arrest, but at this time he has not been apprehended, and should be considered both armed and dangerous.

Historic Manassas, Inc. wins achievement award in Richmond

News

During an awards ceremony in Richmond, Historic Manassas Inc. was presented with the Virginia Main Street Milestone Achievement Award.

The award is given to those that have demonstrated voluntary investments to revitalize downtown areas, like Downtown Manassas.

More than 60,000 volunteer hours have been put in to events and the revitalization of Downtown Manassas since 1997, according to a city release.

Historic Manassas, Inc. has been working in Downtown Manassas as a non-profit organization since 1986. 

In Virginia, there are currently 25 areas as designated Main Street communities. These communities are involved with the Virginia Main Street program, which is managed by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

The department provides the areas with assistance and training to help improve and expand their businesses and economic growth opportunities in these downtown areas, said a city release.

“The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in the City of Manassas as evidenced by this award. Volunteers are what make this City great and this is an overwhelming number of volunteer hours donated to our Historic Downtown. We thank every volunteer for their gift of time,” said Manassas City Manager, W. Patrick Pate.

 

JC Penney location in Manassas Mall to close in April

News

JC Penney in Manassas Mall will close in April.
Employees will have the option to relocate to another store.
JC Penny has long been an anchor store in Manassas Mall.

About April 4, the JCPenney store located in the Manassas Mall will be closing.

Last week, Potomac Local spoke with a staff associate at the store that confirmed that the location was going to be closing.

Inside the store, most merchandise was being offered at a discount, and store fixtures were already being packed. 

According to Joey Thomas, a Media Relations and Corporate Affairs representative for J.C. Penney Company, Inc., the store was underperforming.

“We continually evaluate our store portfolio to determine whether there’s a need to close or relocate underperforming stores.  Reviews such as these are essential in meeting our long-term goals for future company growth.  While it’s never an easy decision to close stores, especially due to the impact on our valued associates and customers, we feel this is a necessary business decision,” said Thomas.

There are currently 60 staff members employed at the Manassas JCPenney location, according to Thomas.

Employees may receive separation benefits, assistance in relocating to another JCPenney store, or career training services to help them find a new job.

“Eligible associates who do not remain with the company will receive separation benefits, and, if possible, we will assist associates in identifying other job opportunities at nearby JCPenney stores.  Additionally, we’re offering all associates an on-site career training class.  The class will assist associates in writing resumes, filling out applications, answering interview questions and more,” Thomas commented.

 

Manassas man wanted for rape case involving female minor

News

Noe Raymundo Cedillo, a 33-year old Manassas man, is wanted in a rape case by the Manassas City Police.

The Manassas police were called to a residence on Taney Road on Sunday afternoon, to respond to a call about a physical altercation that took place at the home, said a Manassas police release.

After arriving at the scene and investigating the incident, Manassas police found that Cedillo has been sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter, who is a minor, for an extended period of time, according to a Manassas police release.

When Cedillo was confronted, he fled the scene on foot, and has not yet been located.

He is a white Hispanic male, 5’4”, 130 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. 

Cedillo is known under the aliases Francisco Raymundo, Noe Raymundo and Noe Cedillo, according to a release.

Manassas City Police is asking anyone that has information pertaining to the case, or his location, to call 703-257-8000.

Manassas man charged in parking lot stabbing

News

On Saturday night, Prince William police responded to a call at the All American Steakhouse location on Ashland Community Square in Manassas, to investigate a stabbing.

According to a release, during their investigation they discovered that a fight had broken out in the parking lot outside of the restaurant.

During the altercation the accused suspect, 50-year old Wendell Abraham Howard, a Manassas resident, stabbed two victims.

One of the victims in the altercation, a 33-year old man from Woodbridge, sustained a life-threatening stab wound to the lower part of his body, according to a Prince William police release. The victim was unconscious when Prince William police arrived on the scene.

Two police officers provided CPR on-site to the victim, while a third officer applied pressure to the wound while waiting for paramedics.

The other victim, a 43-year old Woodbridge man, received a stab wound to his arm when attempting to break up the fight.

When paramedics arrived, both victims were transported to the hospital, and expect to survive.

Howard, who remained on the scene after the altercation, was then arrested by Prince William police. 

Howard is charged with two counts of malicious wounding, and is being held without bond.

More from a Prince William police release:

Malicious Wounding – On March 21st at 10:02PM, officers responded to the All American Steakhouse located at 5594 Ashland Community Sq in Manassas (20112) to investigate a stabbing. The investigation revealed that a fight had broken out in the parking lot of the business. During the encounter two victims were stabbed by a man later identified as the accused. One of the victims, a 33 year old man of Woodbridge, sustained a significant, life-threatening stab wound to his lower body. This victim was unconscious when the first officers arrived at the scene. Two officers began CPR on the victim while a third maintained pressure on the wound. The second victim, identified as a 43 year old man of Woodbridge, sustained a stab wound to his arm when he attempted to break up the altercation. Both victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Both are expected to survive. The accused remained at the scene and was detained without further incident. Following the investigation, the accused was arrested.

Arrested on March 21st:

Wendell Abraham HOWARD, 50, of 13210 Spriggs Rd in Manassas

Charged with 2 counts of malicious wounding

Court date: May 13, 2015 | Bond: held WITHOUT bond

Gas leak in Manassas, Sudley Road closed

News

Update

The closed section of Sudley Road has now been reopened, according to a Prince William police release.

Original post

Due to a gas leak in Manassas, Sudley Road will be closed in both directions, from Bulloch Drive to Route 29, according to a Prince William police release.

Additionally, there is restricted access for drivers attempting to access Sudley Road from I-66.

The area of closure for the gas leak extends near the Manassas Northern Virginia Community College Campus and the Manassas Battlefield Visitor Center. 

There is currently no estimated time for repairs to be completed at this time.

Potomac Local will keep you up to date on the latest information about this gas leak.

More from a Prince William police release:

*TRAFFIC ALERT: Gas Leak | Manassas;

Sudley Rd will be closed in both directions between Bulloch Dr and Lee Hwy (RT.29) near the NVCC Campus and Manassas Battlefield Visitor Center. Access to Sudley Rd from I-66 is restricted. Unknown ETA for repairs.Use caution and follow police direction.

Groundbreaking tomorrow for new high-tech Baldwin school in Manassas

News

The Manassas City School Board will be holding a groundbreaking ceremony tomorrow at 1 p.m. in Manassas, on the site of the new Baldwin Elementary and Intermediate schools.

The two schools will be built on the same site and will accommodate the growth of students in Manassas City, according to a release.

Manassas City Public Schools recently awarded the construction contract for the projects to Schiebel Construction out of Huntington, Maryland, according to Jeff Abt, the Executive Director of Student and Administrative Support Services for the school system.

Additionally, Abt was a former principal at the original Baldwin Elementary School from 1997 to 2005.

“This has been a twenty plus year idea…so getting to where we are now is just really exciting. It’s taken a long time getting there, but we’re now building a school where the…building is very flexible,” said Abt.

The project will cost just over $32 million in construction costs, which is being paid through bond funds, according to Abt.

“[This] will help with our overcrowding in our current intermediate school. The school will be approximately 1,000 students, 700 for [kindergarten through fourth grade] and 300 for the [fifth and sixth grade]…It’s going to replace our existing Baldwin Elementary School. It was a building that was built in 1958. And the new school is being relocated on Tudor Lane next to our high school,” Abt said.

According to initial design plans for the project, the site will have two distinct entrances, with PreK through fourth grade on the elementary side, and grades 5-6 on the intermediate side.

The elementary and intermediate school will be split up on each side of the site, but there will be some shared space between students, including the gymnasium.

Abt stated that the school would be built with the latest technology, with today’s learners in mind.

“What this school [will have] is learning neighborhoods outside of each floor – it’s three floors. And there’s a lot of glass, so that a teacher can have a small group outside of the classroom, and still be able to see them, with a larger group within the classroom,” said Abt, continuing, “Our computer labs will literally be in the learning neighborhoods. They won’t be in a room, like you would traditionally think with a computer lab. There will be a multitude of smart boards in the neighborhoods, potentially monitors in the neighborhoods. So it’s going to be tons of technology.”

The project is scheduled for completion by January 2017, but there are hopes that it will be completed sooner.

“[We have] hopes of potentially moving in sooner. The construction company would like to see if they can accelerate the construction of the project,” said Abt.

The groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public.

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