Prince William County Public Schools is struggling to alleviate its most congested area, the Route 1 corridor, but efforts to handle the rapid growth are stretching several miles away into a new subdivision in Woodbridge.
Many of the new homeowners bought in the subdivision for a promised new school, Ferlazzo Elementary School.
A group of mothers says the school board is backtracking plans to build Ferlazzo and instead will relocate a nearby, so-called "traditional school" – essentially a specialty school with a wait list -- to then open up space for the overcrowded Route 1 schools, like Marumsco Hills Elementary School, where what was once a baseball field is covered with portable classrooms.
“We have right now about 780. The school was built for 650 students at capacity, and we have 11 trailers plus a bathroom trailer in the backyard,” Marumsco Hills Principal Joanne Alvey said.
The Woodbridge mothers say their children’s school is already above capacity and more homes are springing up.
“There ars supposed to be more homes built for this area, and we don’t have any school to help facilitate the overcrowding,” mother Jennifer Blum said.
“I bought in this community for what was going to be offered to my children,” said Arlene Lugo, another of the upset Woodbridge mothers.
“We were promised this land for an elementary school for our children, and I truly feel that the school board is trying to steal that from our children,” Homeowners’ Association President Patrick Sowers said.
The school system says each year it must reassess projections based on changing needs.
Prince William County Supervisor Marty Nohe said he would address the issue with the school board Tuesday night.
“There’s been a lot of new development in this corridor, and all of that development was approved contingent on the notion that a new neighborhood elementary school would be in this corridor,” Nohe said.
Map of schools in the area: