Lutie Lewis Coates Elementary School opened on September 8, 2009. During the planning process for our school, it was referred to as Coppermine Elementary because historically copper mines were located in our area. In 1728, Robert “King” Carter formed a company to mine copper ore in the vicinity of present day Dulles Airport. The copper ore was placed into casks weighing 400 pounds each and sent down Ox Road to a shipping warehouse on the Occoquan River. During the naming process for our school, the community gathered at nearby McNair Elementary to vote on a preferred name to submit to the Fairfax County School Board. On April 2, 2009, the School Board officially named our school in honor of Lutie Lewis Coates, a former Fairfax County Public Schools educator. During the 1930s and 1940s, a time when Fairfax County public schools were segregated by race, Lutie Coates taught at the Floris “Colored” School, a two-room schoolhouse located a short distance away from our school on Squirrel Hill Road.
Copper mining history courtesy of Fairfax County History Commissioner Debbie Robison.