Park View Teachers, Parents, Students, and Staff Demand Renovations to School Building


Courtesy of Amy Gazes

Students, staff and parents spoke to the LCPS School Board at multiple meetings about the need to renovate.

Students, staff and parents at Park View High School, the fourth high school built in Loudoun County (opening in 1976), have been adamantly voicing their opinions over social media as well as at LCPS School Board meetings that LCPS provide maintenance and renovations to the school. According to students and staff, the school is currently suffering from neglect from the county including unfixed leaks and toilets, mold on ceilings, and cracks in walls.

“Unfortunately, for a long time now, Sterling sort of has a bad reputation. Park View has a bad reputation. Why exactly, I’m not sure, [but] for some reason we’re kind of looked down upon,” said Sophie Fowler, a Park View art teacher, who speaks out frequently on Twitter about the conditions at Park View.

Park View High School’s most recent official renovation was 10 years ago, according to documents provided by the LCPS Public Information Office, which state that “In Fiscal Year 2012, $3,970,000 was spent on a science lab/art studio renovation.”

As the only Title 1 high school in the county, with 74.5% of the school’s population being economically disadvantaged, Park View is already suffering from issues within the school beyond just the needed renovation. According to the School Board Adopted Capital Improvement Plan for 2023-2028, the school is predicted to go over capacity next school year.

“It’s not just us. It’s our elementary schools, our middle school,   because we’re all “Title 1,” [but] that doesn’t mean we deserve less,” said SCA President Angie Rivera. Being a Title 1 school means that the school has high levels of poverty, and the school is provided with extra funds and resources to support the school, its students and their families.

According to the documents provided by the LCPS Public Information Office, the projects listed under the $42,055,000 renovation for Park View include: the design phase of the renovation ($3.91 million), which will be from July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023. Beginning July 1 2023 through June 30, 2025 the physical renovation including the following: “One baseball and softball press box, tennis court lighting, artificial turf field and lighting for one practice field, a “reconfigured, secure vestibule” (a front office relocation, similar to other schools in the county), additional office space for administrative and counseling staff, additional fine arts storage, marching band storage, a marching band tower, expanding the alternative school WIlliam Obediah Robey High School located inside of Park View, and ‘Other Associated Building Renovations,” (which are not currently specified any further).

Many of the classes that the plan states Park View will be receiving, are actually going to be classrooms that were previously repurposed for the use of William Obediah Robey High School. These five classrooms were repurposed for use as part of Robey, however they will be used for Park View again. The plan also states that the county will be building a separate wing for the alternative school. “That doesn’t fix the leaks, the holes, and that’s still probably not enough classrooms, to be honest. I think Robey High School is a great opportunity for students, but I just don’t think [the school] belonged in one of the smallest schools that we have…it wasn’t the right timing,” Rivera said.

“I think that because it is a minority community and being in a Latino community, they [might be] almost afraid to stand up to any government establishment, they haven’t had a voice to stand up to make them comfortable to speak up for what they really want,” said Amy Gazes, Park View High School’s PTSA president. “A lot of these families come from countries where it’s absolute devastation, so they’re just happy to be somewhere where their kids have an education, and a safe place to go, a safe place to eat. They don’t even realize the neglect their school and kids are actually getting.”

Park View opened in 1976 and many have spoken out about a lack of renovations. (Cynthia Gonzalez)

Seeing as though Loudoun County is the richest county, students, staff and parents hope that LCPS would provide more for the schools that were there first. “We’re trying to step up and say “Hey, you’re building these beautiful [new] schools, it’s not right that you’re doing that for them, and you’re not doing anything about the condition of our school,” Fowler said.

Although the physical issues with the school are numerous, the mental impact on Park View’s students has largely gone unnoticed by the county. They face not only issues with their building, but also the effects on their students’ mental health, and all of these can create a less positive learning environment. “We talk about how the building needs renovation—there’s cracks, asbestos, all these things wrong with this school—but it also affects the students mentally. It can get very frustrating and overwhelming,” said Aniah Falls, a junior at Park View. She is Park View’s Student Equity Ambassador, who has been working with the other students advocating for Park View. 

Rivera said, “You want to feel excited to go to school, you want to go to a positive environment. You don’t feel that over there…your friends and your community, that’s what makes it worth it.”

Park View’s PTSA has been very active on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, garnering the attention of news channels, and parents of Loudoun County. “I was very, very overwhelmed honestly with the huge amount of support. I was overwhelmed with how bad the conditions really were, and how sad these kids were, pouring their hearts out to me, and how this makes them feel,” said Gazes, who runs the Instagram account.

Staff, students and parents of Park View high school went to the School Board meeting on February 22nd, March 8th, and March 22nd to speak during the public comment section, and plan to go to as many as possible in the future.

“What I’ve always understood from speaking to the School Board is that they care more about student voices, because that’s the audience they’re working for,” Rivera said.

There are many ways students can have their voices heard by School Board officials, and they aren’t limited to just speaking at School Board meetings. “[One] way to make a really big impact is to advocate for yourself and advocate for your school and community. Even if you don’t feel comfortable speaking, you can come and be physically present to stand with Park View,” Fowler said. “Posting on social media in solidarity is really important [as well].”

March 14th, 22 of Park View’s past and present SCA Presidents signed a letter addressed to the LCPS School Board, urging them to take action towards Park View’s desperately-needed renovations.