York County moved a step closer to building a new elementary school this month when the School Board agreed to pay for preliminary design work.
The design work will cost $210,421. At a special meeting May 3, the School Board agreed to use money from the division's revenue stabilization reserve fund to cover the cost.
The school division has said it would like to begin construction in 2020, and the project is listed under fiscal year 2019 and 2020 in the county's Capital Improvement Plan.
The school is to be built in the upper part of the county in the Marquis development, off Marquis Center Parkway. A residential development is planned for the area as well. The subdivision is expected to have 600 units, with 182 houses and 418 apartments.
Under early drafts of proposed elementary school rezoning in the county, the new school would take in students from Magruder and Yorktown elementary schools. Those schools have the greatest crowding concerns, said division Chief Operations Officer Carl James at an April 17 work session. He noted that the density of the schools changes year-to-year and that other developments would affect school populations.
The early draft plans, which were developed by a contractor outside the division, have two possibilities for the new school. One would put 180 students into the new school from existing schools; the other would put 295 students in the school. Those figures do not reflect possible changes from any new developments in the area. James noted that current rezoning possibilities are subject to change.
The CIP lists the new school as having space for 500 students and lists the expected cost of building and furnishing at $23 million.
The school division is in the early phases of redrawing the elementary school attendance zones and plans to establish an advisory group over the summer. Early plans have the committee meeting several times in the fall and presenting recommendations to the School Board toward the end of the year.
The Marquis currently consists of a shopping center with a Target, Kohl's, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods and an empty J.C. Penney that closed in April 2015. A Sam's Club is expected to fill a space that is now vacant.
Reyes can be reached by phone at 757-247-4692.