The Historic Ashburn Colored School is one of the few remaining one-room African American schoolhouses in Northern Virginia. Built in the late 1800s, it served the African American community of Ashburn for over 60 years. In the mid-50s, busing became available and the doors to the Ashburn Colored School were closed.
Students from Loudoun School for Advanced Studies (LSAS) became aware of this neglected treasure in the winter of 2015 and decided to make the Ashburn Colored School the center of their 8th grade project.
By the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, students had raised approximately $20,000 through yard and bake sales and by creating a GoFundMe page for donations from the community.
On October 1st, 2016, the rehabilitation project took a sad turn when school leaders discovered that the Ashburn Colored School had been vandalized the night before. Students were devastated to see profanity and racist references spray painted on this significant piece of history.
But there was a silver lining to this vandalism, and that was the outpouring of support that LSAS received from the local community and the wider national and international community. Hundreds of notes of encouragement and donations arrived over the following two weeks as news of the vandalism spread.
To repair the damage done, not only to the Old School, but to our community as a whole, LSAS — with significant support from Phyllis Randall, Board of Supervisors Chair; Phillip Thompson, President of the NAACP Loudoun Branch; Donna Bohanon, Black History Committee Chair of the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library; Mike Chapman and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office; and Pastor Michelle Thomas — hosted the Community Restoration Celebration on October 9th. Over 600 people came together to help repair the Old School and enjoy entertainment from local musicians and food donated by local restaurants.
It was decided to restore the building as it was when children were still attending school there. There is no heat, air conditioning, or other modern comforts to allow you to step back in time and experience school in the early 20th century.
We are very excited to open our doors to the community and have events in the works. The school sits on a beautiful lawn and with an outdoor space that is a wonderful location for warmer weather events. We are fortunate to share space with the Loudoun School for Advanced Studies who allow us space in their facility for events during cold weather.