Prince William schools finalizing site for Potomac Shores elementary school

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The Prince William County school division is finalizing the land purchase needed for a Potomac Shores elementary school with $3.2 million in proffers from the county.

The School Board on Wednesday planned to approve the additional proffer funds from the county to purchase six acres for the forthcoming elementary school Potomac Shores elementary school. The school system is buying the land from Harbor Station Communities LLC, the developer for the Potomac Shores residential project, and plans to build it near the intersection of River Heritage Boulevard and Thoroughgood Drive.

The school was originally slated to be built in 2023 but was pushed to 2024 and then 2026 as the overall residential and commercial development’s completion was delayed. The division is now saying it will be built in 2027, with the system’s most recent capital improvements program budgeting a total of $45.4 million for the new school.

A spokesperson for the school system cited delays with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the developer vacating Cherry Hill Road, just north of the school’s future site, when asked about the delay.

“The parcel contains a piece of the former ‘Cherry Hill Road.’ VDOT needs to vacate that swath of land,” the spokesperson said in an email to InsideNoVa. “Once that occurs, PWCS will have a clear pad site on which to build, without a ‘road’ or rights to said road in the middle of it. We cannot start building in the area of the right-of-way until it is vacated from a property rights perspective.”

The division opened nearby Covington-Harper Elementary School in 2017 and Potomac Shores Middle School in 2021, but the county is expecting much more growth in the middle school’s feeder area. According to the division’s Capital Improvement Plan, the middle school’s zone had 856 residential units in September of 2021, but another 1,547 were planned.

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