Data Centers and PWCS Frequently Asked Questions

Data Centers and Prince William County Public Schools Frequently Asked Questions

What is a data center?

A data center is a building or premises in which most of the use is occupied by computers and/or telecommunications and related equipment, including supporting equipment, where information is processed, transferred, and stored.

The exponential increase of digital communication and services, and demand for storing, managing, and distributing large amounts of data and information is reflected in the growth of data centers. Commercial users, such as retail and e-commerce companies, increasingly rely on the internet to provide their services and to store data. Data centers are a key resource for digital communications and services. Data centers are centralized repositories of computer servers that provide these electronic services.

For more information, please visit the Prince William County Government website.

Does PWCS determine where data centers are located?

No. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) does not determine where or whether data centers will be built. The jurisdiction and decision are the responsibility of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.

Are there any safety concerns associated with the data center being close to the school?

PWCS will work with any data center developer building near a school to raise and address safety concerns that may be pertinent to the school. Prince William County Government offices are responsible for ensuring the data centers comply with all relevant construction, building, and permitting ordinances.

Who should I contact regarding building development and building code enforcement?

Citizens and businesses can contact the Building Development Division with complaints or concerns regarding construction or building projects. The Building Code Enforcement Section will investigate concerns regarding construction and building projects in the community. Investigations will ensure the project meets Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code requirements. You can contact Building Code Enforcement directly with building-related complaints and/or concerns by calling 703-792-6931.

Where can I find more information about a filed application?

For more information about applications under review by the Planning Office, please visit the following link: Development Application Processing Schedule (DAPS) and Pending Planning Cases Interactive Map.

What will be the construction impact on Chris Yung Elementary School?

Prince William County Government and Microsoft are still finalizing construction plans. These plans include abiding by local noise ordinances and specifications outlined during the permitting process. Once work hours are known, Microsoft in Your Community will inform the community as part of their construction overview.

More information may be found on the Microsoft website.

Update (April 29, 2024):

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has issued an immediate permit for a construction entrance to be installed on Hansen Farm Road. Temporary lane closures will occur on Hansen Farm Road the week of May 6 while equipment is unloaded.

How will construction affect Chris Yung Elementary School?

The main environmental impacts include ground vibrations, noise, and dust. Proper planning and control measures are employed to reduce these impacts like strong, dense, and flexible mats designed to minimize debris and dust, and contain vibrations from excavation and construction measures.

The Prince William County Fire Marshal is aware and/or on-site during all operations. Preconstruction surveys will be conducted on the facility to document conditions in case of damage resulting from construction (e.g., structure, cracks, property).

PWCS has advised Microsoft not to interrupt instruction and not to impact SOL testing. Excavation practices are expected to be completed before SOL testing.

Update (April 29, 2024):

On the south side of the site, where the school is located, a 50-foot tree buffer will be maintained. Set to begin Memorial Day, major construction will not occur until 4:30 p.m. at the earliest to avoid instructional and testing disruptions.

When will the construction take place?

Construction is tentatively scheduled to start at the end of February or beginning of March. The construction is estimated to take about two months with multiple excavation practices planned per day for an undetermined approximate period. Current plans are still being finalized and PWCS will post updates as soon as they are available.

Update (April 29, 2024):

Mobilization of construction equipment is expected on or around May 6, 2024.

Where can I get more information on the construction of the data center by Chris Yung Elementary School?

For questions about the approval and placement of data centers in Prince William County, please visit the Prince William County Government website.

For questions regarding the data center, construction, and community communication, please visit the Microsoft website.

How can I get in touch with the general contractor for this project?

For questions about the construction project, please visit the Clark Construction website.

Note: Prince William County Public Schools will update the information, construction, communication, and points of contact once they become available to PWCS.