Manassas School Superintendent Brent Sandidge, 60, will retire next month after five years in that post. Sandidge, an educator for 36 years, said he has earned the right to do something teachers can't do. "I'm going to loaf," he said.

School Board Chairman Marvin Gillum said the board has begun a statewide search for Sandidge's successor, adding that the board hopes to have a new superintendent by July 1.

During Sandidge's tenure, credit units at Osbourn High School have increased from 99 to 160 and the system has grown from $27 million in facilities to more than $40 million. Gillum said one of Sandidge's most valuable contributions to the system has been his ability to communicate with the board, the employes and the public. "He's a fine man who will be hard to replace," Gillum said. "We'll miss him."

*The Manassas City Museum last month tallied 1,820 visitors from 36 states and six foreign countries, twice as many as last year at this time. Museum curator Doug Harvey credits signs on Interstate 66 for the increase. The signs, at two Manassas City exits, were erected in October.

But according to museum committee chairwoman Carol Flack, the city's potentially booming tourist industry may be stymied by inadequate space for visitors and exhibits. Although the museum is tentatively slated to move into the old city hall once the new one is built next year, the proposed site is probably inadequate as well, Flack said.

However, she said the museum may not end up at the old city hall. "There is a possibility that we'll have a whole museum built on Liberia Street off Route 28," she said. That site was Confederate Gen. Pierre Beauregard's headquarters during the Civil War.

*The Manassas Performing and Fine Arts Center is inviting amateur and professional musicians in the area to participate in an ensemble night tomorrow at 7:30. Ensemble groups will be formed according to the proficiency of the musicians, center director Bea Bright said. Participants should call Susan Stephenson at 791-5794 to give their name, instrument and proficiency level; an instrument, music stand and ensemble should be brought to the center tomorrow night. fee To defray utility costs, fees of $1 for members and $1.50 for nonmembers will be charged.

At 8 p.m. Saturday the center will offer an improvisation workshop coordinated by community theater actors Charlie Agnew and Tom Hanson. Participants should call 368-FINE today or tomorrow to register. There is a $3.50 fee for members, $5 for nonmembers.

Throughout this month the center is displaying two- and three-dimensional artworks of Haydon Elementary School students. Show coordinator is Haydon art teacher is Earline Thomas.