By Brendan McDonough
Panther Press Contributor
PVI’s planned move to Loudoun County in 2020 still seems far away for most students, but with next year’s freshman class anticipated to be the first group of students directly affected by the relocation, plans are well underway for expected new features at the Loudoun campus.
Recently, the architects in charge of PVI’s new campus in Loudoun visited with several students, asking them what they would like to see at the school. It allows the architects to see what the people of PVI want, including the students not just the faculty. This will hopefully pay off when the campus is ready, and it will have all the wants and needs that better the Paul VI Catholic High School community.
According to PVI administrators, the move was deemed necessary due to lack of space in our outdated building and no one knows specific plans for the new building yet. The designs are still being made, so planning is still in its early stages, but conversations about planned—and hoped for—changes have already begun.
The current Panther Activity Center and Nellis Field limit us greatly in athletics. Space for our student section is limited during basketball games or other large sporting events, and the real grass on our current football field makes upkeep difficult. The athletic side of the new school is expected to have a very impressive setup including a turf field a full sized track. The gym for basketball games and other activities will have more than enough room for our student section. As of now, there is not an exact number of seats but I was told there will be “a lot.” Cory Snyder ’16 and PVI Principal Mrs. Colwell both said to expect a much larger campus.
Besides athletics, classrooms will be improved using some of the items like desks from the current school as well as some new equipment.
“We have been supplying movable tables and chairs in the classrooms for the past two years and will continue to do so,” said Colwell. Anything that we purchase from this point on has the caveat of ‘will this transfer locations?’ We are not moving junk from this location.”
PVI will continue to use the same laptop program after the move. Students and faculty have been interviewed by the architects about new classroom features they would like to see.
The new campus will be a fresh spark for the school and start a new era for PVI. The renderings are still being drawn and will be for the next 10-12 months so renderings of the campus have not been availabel, but Snyder, one of the many students interviewed by the architects, did say “campus is going to be most dope.”
The school currently has 1010 students enrolled and the new campus is being built to hold around 1500 students. This campus will be built for a larger enrollment, but class sizes will remain the same.
When asked about the percentage of students coming from Fairfax versus new families and students closer to that area, Colwell said, “the new campus is just over the Loudoun County border from Fairfax. Expectation is that many of our Fairfax County families will remain part of the PVI family at the new campus.” The school expects most families to remain with PVI, but also projects that more will enroll.
The 68-acre lot is currently a wooded area in South Riding, approximately 12 miles west of our current campus in Fairfax. The drive from the current campus to the South Riding location takes about twenty minutes going directly down route 50. This should not push away too many families, and will only bring in more, said Colwell. This estimated $60 million project is expected to have state of the art facilities for academics, athletics, and various other activities.
There has been a mixed reaction to the move, but many, like Mrs. Colwell, look forward to what the future brings and to hopefully continuing her tenure as principal.
“I serve at the pleasure of the Bishop and I hope to keep serving as we make the transition from the current location to the new campus. I love my job and I would be honored to continue at the new campus!”