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Renovation begins at Potomac Elementary School


Construction crews began the first phase of Potomac Elementary School’s $4 million renovation just as students returned from winter break.

The first phase of construction on the 54-year-old building begins with installing trailers to house  fourth and sixth graders  as their section of the school is being remodeled.

Angie Harris, principal of the school,  said the trailers are being set up at the school and she hopes they will be  ready for move-in  by March.

“It’s coming along,” she said about the renovation. “The trailers are coming in daily. We’re moving forward now.”

Harris said the school will hold an information session for parents closer to the move-in date.

She said the only thing noticeable  change during the first phase of the renovation will be the new trailer instructional space. All traffic patterns and classes for other students will remain the same.

Ed Moore, construction manager for King George County, said the trailers were leased from Modspace, a Pennsylvania company that offers temporary and permanent modular buildings. 

Moore said construction is on schedule, with the only setback being the rain this week.

Potomac Elementary  was built in three phases: the first in 1959, next in 1974 and the last in 1989. Each section will be updated by replacing equipment, upgrading ventilation to meet current codes, replacing ducts, providing a new kitchen air system, replacing the roof and providing room for future expansion.

Harris said that since enrollment keeps increasing at the school, the renovations are necessary.

She said she also hopes the  renovation creates a  cohesive look for the school, since currently the three sections look like pieces of three different schools.

“The renovation is long overdue,” Harris said.

This first phase includes the renovation of the portion of the school built in 1959 and is scheduled to last until August.

When students return to school in the fall, the third and fifth grades are expected to move into the trailers. This seven-month phase   includes   remodeling the part of the building built in 1974.

The third phase of remodeling will take place during the summer breaks of 2013 and 2014 in the 1989-built portion of the school and does not displace any students.

With the updates in facilities and technology, Harris said the renovation will offer the students and teachers “the school they deserve.”

Lindley Estes:  540/735-1976