By Ava Burkat
Paul VI expects to break ground on the new school in Loudoun County this spring, according to Head of School Ginny Colwell. “There is no guarantee whether or not the current freshmen class will graduate from the current building,” says Colwell.
The contractor is Whiting Turner. VMDO Architects designed the new school, which will be located on Braddock Road between Riding Center Drive and Donerails Chase Drive in South Riding.
The building design maximizes natural light in the three-story academic wings, located in the north segment, with a performance hall, fine arts programs, dining commons, a media center, and a chapel, says Colwell. The central segment will contain a stadium field, locker rooms, two gyms, health classrooms, training rooms, and coaches’ offices.
There will be a bridge connecting the two segments, and a path along the perimeter of the site can be used as the cross-country course or nature trail. There are ponds on the east and northeast corners and another one in the northwest corner.
There will be outdoor seating for lunch and commons to the west for meals, team meetings, and after-school pickup. It may also be used for performances, community meetings, and other large events. In the middle of the school will be a media center, with a library, Campus Ministry offices, and the chapel, in keeping with the importance Paul VI places on academics and Catholic virtues, Colwell says.
On Nov. 1, 2016, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors approved the diocese’s plans for the relocation of Paul VI from Fairfax to Loudoun County. The site is 68 acres, and the new building will be able to hold up to 2,000 students. The plan includes athletic fields, 850 parking spaces, and a gymnasium for school Masses.
Addressing Loudoun County’s concern about traffic congestion, the diocese proposed a parking management plan where school personnel will manage on-site and off-site traffic for an hour before and after school and for any special events. Paul VI is willing to provide a bus service at the request of families, if the need presents itself, says Colwell.