Manassas Park clears way for high school expansion

Manassas Park City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to issue $7 million in bond notes to fund an expansion of the local high school.

Manassas Park High School, which opened for classes in February 1999, is capable of holding 650 students. A student body of 553 is considered the optimum level for the building.

Enrollment for the 2002-03 school year stands at 632. The number of students is projected to rise to 730 by 2003-04 and even higher until it reaches 816 by 2005-06.

“At that point, you’re talking about very bad ideas about what we’d have to do with students,” said Thomas DeBolt, superintendent of Manassas Park schools.

By expanding the high school, the building will be able to accommodate up to 1,025 students, with an optimum level of 871.

If all goes as planned, the high school’s new wing should be open by the 2004-05 school year, DeBolt said.

The new wing will include 15 new classrooms, as well as a computer lab, a new guidance counselor office and three planning offices for teachers.

A new multi-purpose soccer field and junior varsity baseball field will be built on the school grounds.

DeBolt told the council Tuesday night that the last year before the wing opens will be a rough one.

“We’re going to have to come up with some innovative and creative strategies,” he said.

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