Sterling, Virginia is a census-designated place (CDP) in Loudoun County, Virginia. The population as of the 2010 United States Census was 27,822. It is located northwest of Herndon, east of Ashburn, and west of Great Falls, and includes part of Washington Dulles International Airport and the former AOL corporate headquarters. Sterling is also home to the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office LWX (serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area), as well as the Sterling Field Support Center, the National Weather Service test, research, and evaluation center for weather instruments.
- Broad Run Farms is a residential area north of Virginia State Route 7 and 28 that was founded in 1952. It shares the ZIP code of 20165 and calls itself, alternately, Sterling, or Potomac Falls. As an area much older than the surrounding recent growth, it has features unique to the region, including large lots, highly wooded old-growth trees, a wide variety of housing and a voluntary civic association. The Potomac River forms its northern border, and Broad Run its southern. A U.S. Senate lawyer bought the Miskel farm in 1950 and later subdivided it, founding Broad Run Farms. (The Civil War Skirmish at Miskel Farmpropelled Confederate Captain John S. Mosby to fame.) The community banded together in 1995 with state and county help to finance and install its own sewer service in part through an added property tax. The lien was paid off several years early, the tax has been retired.
- Cascades is a 2,500-acre (1,000 ha) planned community within the 20165 ZIP code. The area is located in the northeastern-most part of Loudoun County, Virginia, between the Fairfax County line to the east, the Potomac River to the North, and Algonkian Parkway to the south. Located just north of Route 7, along the Algonkian Parkway, approximately 6500 homes comprise the community.
- CountrySide is a housing development in Sterling (20165 ZIP code), bounded by the Potomac River to the north and by Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) to the south. This subdivision was conceived in the middle 1970s when 1,000 acres (400 ha) of farmland was divided in preparation for a planned housing development. Homes construction began in 1983 and continued through 1991. Today, CountrySide covers about 3.75 square miles (9.7 km2) and consists of 2,539 homes, which includes 1,269 single-family homes, 1,168 town homes, and 102 condominium units. CountrySide contains a shopping center CountrySide Marketplace, which is anchored by Safeway and CVS. The shopping center is within the mixed-use CountrySide Commercial and Professional Center, which contains various office buildings. CountrySide is governed by the CountrySide Proprietary, the community’s homeowners association.
- Dulles is an unincorporated census-designated place located in Loudoun County, also part of the Washington Metropolitan Area with ZIP code 20166. The headquarters of Orbital ATK (on Warp Drive), ODIN Technologies, the former headquarters of MCI Inc., and AOL are located in Dulles. The usage of Dulles as a community name began in the mid-1980s when Loudoun County economic development officer Pam Treadwell successfully lobbied the United States Postal Service to allow Sterling businesses and residents to use Dulles as an alternate address. Dulles Town Center is a census-designated place located within Dulles, which contains the Dulles Town Center shopping mall.
- Lowes Island is an advertised portion of the legal subdivision of Cascades, but is not a legal subdivision itself. While newer residents use the city address “Potomac Falls, VA”, the post office will recognize either “Potomac Falls, VA” or “Sterling, VA” as a correct mailing address. Almost 50% of the Lowes Island geography is taken up with the club grounds and a golf course.
- Potomac Falls is an unincorporated census-designated place also located in Loudoun County. Potomac Falls lies along the Potomac River and is in the northernmost portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20165, bordering Maryland. The name for Potomac Falls came from a competition to name the second new Post Office in Sterling. Alternately called Potomac Falls or Sterling, The village consists of the communities Glen Heather, Calvert’s Glen, Cascades, CountrySide, Lowes Island, Rivercrest, Potomac Hunt, Great Falls Forest and Great Falls Chase. (Great Falls Forest was first considered a part of Fairfax County; however, when an additional part of the neighborhood was added, it was switched to Loudoun County. Great Falls Chase, is also a new addition to what was previously known as Great Falls Forest. Development of Potomac Falls began in the late 1980s, and is essentially complete today. Potomac Falls borders Great Falls and Fairfax County to the southeast and has several shopping areas, schools, and community centers. Potomac Falls is also home to three 18-hole golf courses including Trump National Golf Club and is home to the Potomac Falls High School Panthers.
- Sterling Park is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. The land where Sterling Park was built was mainly made up of a few very large farms. When construction of Dulles International Airport began in 1959, land prices began to rise. In 1961, Marvin T. Broyhill, Sr., saw this as a great investment opportunity and decided to buy the 1,762 acres (713 ha) that now make up Sterling Park for $2,115,783.86. Construction of homes priced $14,800 to $22,500 was completed by 1967. Sterling Park was one of the first planned communities built in eastern Loudoun County and was a popular place for government workers to settle with their families outside Washington, D.C. Sterling Park also contains a variety of businesses, churches, parks, a community center, a semi-private golf club with schools, tennis courts, and two swimming pools. It is the home of the Park View High School Patriots.
- Sugarland Run is a portion of Sterling with the ZIP code of 20164. Built in the 1970s in the style of Sterling Park, its shopping center consists of a 7-Elevenstore and gas station , Pizza Hut , Panda West, High Up Food Mart, and a laundromat (which burned down on January 10, 2008). The housing around Sugarland Elementary School consists of town houses, apartments and single-family homes, while the housing around Meadowland Elementary is predominately single-family homes. . Sugarland Run also has a community center, which is situated near the preconstructed Willow Lake, and over 26 miles (42 km) of walking paths. There is also a community swimming pool and playground situated across from the lake. The swimming pool is 75 feet (23 m) by 160 feet (50 m), with a large diving well and a separate baby pool. Sugarland Run also is a geographical feeder to Dominion High School.
EDUCATION IN STERLING
Currently, Sterling is home to three public high schools serving grades 9–12; Dominion High School, Park View High School, and Potomac Falls High School. Sterling also has three public middle schools serving grades 6–8; River Bend Middle School, Seneca Ridge Middle School, and Sterling Middle School. There are also twelve public elementary schools serving grades PK-5; Algonkian Elementary School, Countryside Elementary School, Forest Grove Elementary School, Guilford Elementary School, Horizon Elementary School, Lowes Island Elementary School, Meadlowland Elementary School, Potowmack Elementary School, Rolling Ridge Elementary School, Sterling Elementary School, Sugarland Elementary School, Sully Elementary School.
Northern Virginia Community College has a Loudoun campus on Harry F. Byrd Highway (Route 7). Nearby, in Ashburn, The George Washington University, has its Virginia Science and Technology Campus, established in 1991.
Claude Moore Park occupies 357 acres (144 ha) in Sterling and offers activities for people of all ages, with three main areas. Claude Moore Recreation Center contains an Olympic-size indoor pool, a children’s pool with water features, an exercise area, gymnasium, and several event and meeting rooms. The sportplex includes baseball and softball fields and the nature area includes hiking trails and the park. The last known undeveloped section of the historic Vestal’s Gap Road runs across the park. Originally a trail first used by Native Americans, it was a major route for settlers between Alexandria and the Shenandoah Valley. George Washington used the road frequently in his travels between Mount Vernon and the western frontier. General Braddock‘s troops, including Daniel Boone, traveled Vestal’s Gap Road during the French and Indian War.
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