Board changes CIP to add Lafayette sports improvements

Lafayette gets CIP wishes granted by WJCC School Board

After phone calls and public comments at two meetings, Williamsburg-James City County School Board adjusted its capital improvement budget to include sports facility improvements for Layfayette High School. 

However, the projects are still just part of a wish list for project for the school division, and could be rejected by Williamsburg and James City County officials who have to review and decide whether to fund them. 

W-JCC school board approved a 10-year capital improvement plan for the division that details improvements to be made at its 18 schools, describing the projects, their costs and when those projects would be complete. 

Several speakers and members of Lafayette's Athletic Boosters asked the board for three items they said are desperately needed for the high school's sports programs - an auxiliary gym, a walkway from the high school to a nearby sports complex and practice fields and lights for the high school's practice fields.

Former Lafayette High School baseball star Matt Keane told school board members Tuesday about the condition of sports facilities at his old high school. 

The William and Mary freshman explained how the semi-covered dugouts let the weather in to ruin sports equipment. He talked about walking through swampy land to practice fields and how the district's other two high schools, Jamestown and Warhill, had better facilities. 

"It just seems that every year we come out as the underdog, not having the facilities that other schools have," Keane said. "We’re just looking for a little equity."

Keane and his parents, John and Deborah, joined several others who addressed Williamsburg-James City County School Board during its public comment period Tuesday night to urge board members to consider the needs of Lafayette's sports programs in the capital improvement budget. 

The district's chief financial officers presented an updated plan to school board members that included the three projects for 2017. To fund the projects, the school board would have to delay putting a new HVAC system in at Norge Elementary School, a project school officials moved to 2018.

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