The Williamsburg-James City County School Board should build the Lafayette High School auxiliary gym in the Resource Protection Area-designated portion of their land and thereby save the tennis courts.
Students use the tennis courts and should not have to travel elsewhere to play tennis. Taxes built the tennis courts and this taxpayer doesn't want them destroyed. According to the James City County property pax website, LHS is located on 49.76 acres of land. About 20% is designated as RPA. According to the JCC RPA website, "All of JCC is a Resource Management Area" and RPAs include "all land adjacent to water bodies with perennial flow..." Based on this definition, a small creek between Warhill Trail and LHS caused all adjacent land to be designated as a RPA.
This designation doesn't mean that the land cannot be used. The RPA designation was established through government action and can be changed through government action.
Along with construction of the new auxiliary gym, actions can be taken to protect the near-by creek. Access to the creek can be enhanced and a "Living Lab" can be established and used by LHS students. Use of RPA land is not unprecedented. Countless homes and business are located on RPA-designated land. Many readers of this newspaper prove daily that land owners can be good stewards of their land while also enjoying its benefits.
It's time for the School Board to step up and do the right thing for the students and use the RPA land to meet student needs. Failure to do so hurts students and taxpayers.
Eleanor A. Hunter