14th High School Proposed for Environmentally Sensitive, Limited Access Property on Prince William Parkway
June 3, 2019
Dear School Board Members,
We urge you to reconsider your plan to locate the 14th high school on the property located at 5021 Davis Ford Road, on the southern border of Prince William Parkway.
We realize that school sites are increasingly hard to find and know that PWC Schools has many hurdles to deal with in the siting process. However, we firmly believe that certain standards should not be compromised in the search for sites, as they would be here.
First and foremost, the environmental aspects and restrictions of a given site should be given high priority during the evaluation process. The location in relation to the need (student population) should rank high on the priority list. Transportation access should be a prime consideration. Proximity to a major highway should be considered in light of studies on the impact of air pollution on young people. And the willingness of the property owner to sell should also be a consideration.
The PWCS preferred site for the 14thhigh school fails on all these points. It is inevitable that construction of a school at this site would have a considerable impact on environmental assets, including perennial streams. The majority of students would come from eastern areas that are currently oversubscribed and be bussed to the school.
The expected access to a school at this site would be directly from Prince William Parkway, which will necessitate a new traffic light on the Parkway and could create safety concerns. The school would be within the 1,500 foot distance from a major highway that according to studies can affect the health of youngsters due to air pollution. Finally, a government taking of property is never a good option.
We respectfully request that, in light of the above, you choose another site for a school.
This land area (approximately 600 acres) on both sides of the Parkway is some of the most environmentally sensitive land in the county and a key part of the watershed for the Occoquan Reservoir. Along with the other issues, it is particularly unsuitable for this use.
Martin Jeter, Mid County Civic Association Of Prince William
Kim Hosen, Prince William Conservation Alliance
Elena Schlossberg, Coalition To Protect Prince William