Living in LoCo

Living in LoCo

By Erica Garman
Sunday, June 14, 2009

Living in LoCo is Erica Garman's blog devoted to news about Loudoun County. You can find it at This column of highlights appears every Sunday in the Loudoun Extra.

Purcellville's Town Council closed the indoor roller-skating rink at Fireman's Field last week after construction engineers determined that the building shows severe signs of structural weakness.

Experts determined that the 104-year-old building is in no immediate danger of collapse but that it could pose a public safety risk in the event of severe weather.

"The council takes public safety and its stewardship very seriously," Purcellville Mayor Robert W. Lazaro wrote in a statement, "and, as such, the skating rink has been closed immediately to begin the process of evaluating and undertaking the recommended repairs to address the structural deficiencies identified."

The town's teen center, which operates in the building Friday nights, will need to find a temporary home as a result of the closing. Friday's session was canceled as organizers looked for event space, Lazaro said. Possible options for the teen center include privately owned buildings in town and other nearby county facilities, he said.

Purcellville purchased Fireman's Field, which includes the roller rink facility, in 2008. The historic property was first used for religious revivals and as a place to see entertainment and popular orators such as presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. Years later, the Tabernacle, as the building was then called, drew crowds to see wrestling matches and popular country singers such as Patsy Cline. Until Dulles International Airport was built in 1962, the building was the largest structure in Loudoun County.

In other Purcellville news, the first of the town's new LED streetlights were installed last week as part of a pilot project with Dominion Power. The town purchased the high-efficiency lights, and Dominion is installing them for free.

Also, Purcellville police are urging residents to lock their doors and cars after authorities responded to a home alarm shortly after 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 37000 block of Drawbridge Way. While setting a perimeter at the residence, police witnessed a male wearing a blue windbreaker running out of a residence. Police determined that the subject had entered through an unlocked rear door and removed food. The K-9 unit was called out, but police were unable to catch the suspect.

Later that morning, at 5 a.m., a homeowner in the 300 block of East Loudoun Valley Drive reported that the back door of his home had been opened during the night (perhaps about 1 a.m., when the homeowner recalled hearing his dogs barking), but it was determined that no one had entered.

Police are asking Purcellville residents to report any suspicious activity to Police Chief Darryl Smith at 540-338-7422.

Documentary on Women in Politics

"Pink State Politics," a nonpartisan documentary filmed in Virginia, takes a look at women's roles in politics and the issues that were important to them in last year's presidential election. The film highlights several prominent Loudoun women.

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