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LFCC's new student center: County water, sewer sought

This is an artist's rendering of what a new student union and activity center would look like at Lord Fairfax Community College in Middletown. Courtesy image

By Alex Bridges - abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER - Lord Fairfax Community College plans to build a new student union building, which will need water and sewer service.

LFCC has asked Frederick County to extend its sewer and water service to its site adjacent to the college's Middletown campus, located north of town on U.S. 11.

The Board of Supervisors, at its meeting Wednesday, unanimously adopted a resolution directing staff to undertake a study of the expansion of the Sewer Water Service Area to cover approximately 20 acres owned by the LFCC Foundation.

College spokeswoman Lyda Kiser explained by email earlier Wednesday that LFCC plans to build a student union and activity center, which would house the bookstore, food concession, student life offices, meeting space for clubs, locker rooms and a fitness area. LFCC leaders say they hope to break ground on the project this fall and to complete construction in time to open the facility in January 2014.

Middletown provides sewer services to the college while it receives water from Winchester, according to planning department official Mike Ruddy. With an expansion of the Sewer Water Service Area, the town and city would provide the respective utilities to the new facility, Ruddy said.

The comprehensive study would evaluate areas in the vicinity of the college in addition to the site for the student union. Ruddy suggested the study evaluate land to the west of U.S. 11 near the college. Likewise, the study area should connect to Middletown, he added.

"We'll point out the community college themselves, on foundation property, they have some building projects that they're looking to move forward with, so we're working with them to try and enable them to move forward with the projects, while at the same time look at the surrounding properties," Ruddy said.

A county committee will address the study at a meeting next month, according to Ruddy.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Shickle asked how the investigative process would address a hypothetical situation in which Winchester chooses not to furnish water to additional properties in Frederick County. Ruddy suggested that discussions of such an issue, should they arise, likely would involve the Frederick County Sanitation Authority, the city and Middletown as well as adjacent property owners.

Shickle noted the city continues to serve an increasing number of users in the county.

Ruddy noted this request is unique, in that the property lies close to Middletown rather than nearer to the city and the existing Sewer Water Service Area.

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