Defaced, historic Virginia schoolhouse gets some TLC

Dozens of volunteers helped clean up the Old Ashburn Schoolhouse.

ASHBURN, VA (WUSA9) - On Sunday dozens of volunteers, armed with paint scrappers and rollers, came out in full force to clean-up what the graffiti vandals plastered all over the Old Ashburn Schoolhouse.

“I was so angry and I felt like I needed to do something,” said neighborhood volunteer, Nicole Houston.

"It's just sad that as much as we have in common as people, we can still degrade other people from other cultures,” said Kitty Salahuddin, volunteering with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.

Last weekend vandals painted racist and offensive words and drew swastikas all over the old school’s walls and windows.

The building defaced is a historic one. It was reportedly built in the 1800s with one room to serve kindergarten through eighth grades. It was the county's school for African American children.

Ms. Yvonne Neal is now 84 years old and went to this school up until the seventh grade. She took part if the multi-faith service held before volunteers started work.

Neal said there was nothing but love shown at the Old Ashburn Schoolhouse, from her father sometimes carrying her some two-in-a-half miles to school to the teacher she said worked with 20 to 40 students trying to educate each grade as best as possible.

"During the muddy, rainy, cold days, it was difficult for us to walk through the mud,” said Neal talking about her dad getting her to class.

"She treated us as if we were her children and she wanted the best for us," Neal said of her teacher.

Students from the Loudoun School for the Gifted raised around $20,000 trying to turn the building and its stories into a museum. They had just fixed the foundation and replace windows before vandals hit the building.

"Oh my gosh, it defies expectation!” said Loudoun School for the Gifted Founder, Deep Sran.

"I think it's amazing that we can all get together, but it shouldn't be that surprising, we should do this every day,” said a 15-year-old Mikaeel Martinez Jaka.

Neal didn't offer many words to the vandals. Instead, she's thanking the volunteers who once again, made the school a place of love.

"It's like a miracles come true. Here's something coming to life again,” she said. “It feels my heart with joy to see this happen,” she said.

Last Wednesday, the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department charged five teenagers in connection with the vandalism.

The Loudoun School for the Gifted is still working to rehabilitate the building. Contributions can be made on the school’s GoFundMe page


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