In yet another signal of the county's rapid expansion, voters will be asked on Election Day to approve an estimated $132 million in public building projects.
The projects, if passed, would mean new schools and recreation centers, a new library and a new public safety center. Some money included in the five bond questions would pay for expansion of existing facilities.
The most expensive question on the ballot asks voters to approve a $100 million referendum to finance construction of four new schools: an elementary school in Lansdowne; a middle school in Countryside; an intermediate school in western Loudoun; and a high school in Leesburg.
Passage of the referendum also would pay for expansion of Lucketts Elementary School and replacement of the heating and cooling systems at four existing campuses.
Molly Converse, a spokeswoman for the 28,787-student county school district, said a delay in building the new campuses could mean larger teacher-pupil ratios, as well as changes to bus routes and attendance boundaries to ease crowding.
A separate ballot question asks voters to support a 45,000-square-foot addition to the school district's administration building on North Street. It is 75 years old and cramped, with hallways used as closets. The $5.3 million addition would double the size of office space on three floors.
Libraries in Loudoun are crowded, too. Douglas Henderson, director of library services, said the six county libraries "are totally out of shelf space . . . and not able to handle the flow of people."
If passed, an $8 million bond referendum would finance a new library in Ashburn and would expand the Lovettsville library to include a new children's room and a community room, Henderson said. The money also would be used to update the automated library system to allow users to gain access to all county libraries through the Internet.
Voters also will be asked whether the county should spend $11.5 million to build a public safety center in fast-growing South Riding and expand the fire and rescue training center in Leesburg.
The South Riding complex, which would include a fire and rescue station and a satellite sheriff's office, would cost about $4.5 million. The price also covers the funds for a pumper truck and an ambulance.
The $7 million training center expansion would include additional office space and the construction of two training buildings, a high-rise structure and a "burn" building.
The burn building, which allows firefighters to train in a smoke-filled environment, would replace the county's existing burn building, which eventually will be abandoned because it is near the site of the planned jail. Fire officials say a high-rise training facility is needed as more multiple-story structures are built in the county.
County officials also hope to add recreation opportunities for Loudoun residents and are asking voters to approve $7.6 million in new facilities. The three recreation facilities--a group of several ballfields and two aquatic centers--would be on the campuses of three of the new schools that will be on the ballot. The facilities would be owned by the school system and operated by the county Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and would be open to school students and the public.
The ballfields, expected to cost $1.6 million, would be built next to the new high school in Leesburg.
The two aquatic centers with indoor pools would cost $3 million each. They are proposed for the new Countryside middle school and another middle school planned for western Loudoun.
Although the ballot states that these are "school multiuse centers," School Board members said they never approved or endorsed the projects.