W-JCC Schools to host public hearing on 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan

aheymann@vagazette.com

Williamsburg-James City County Schools will hold a public hearing on an early version of the 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan, which suggests building a new elementary school and expanding all three high schools.

This CIP was presented to the W-JCC School Board at its work session Oct. 2.

The proposed plan includes a 10th elementary school. The low projection for elementary school enrollment growth shows the division will be above capacity in 2026 at 100.7 percent, or by 36 students, growing to 82 students more by 2027.

Monique Barnes, W-JCC’s chief financial officer, said another option would be to expand existing elementary schools, but she cautioned that it would be a temporary solution.

A new elementary school would cost an estimated $38.5 million.

Barnes said the CIP committee also suggested expanding all three high schools to accommodate projected enrollment growth rather than spending $100 million to build a new high school.

While Warhill had an addition planned, it was for only eight classrooms. The committee suggested upping that to 12 at a cost of about $4.7 million to design and build the four rooms.

Getting a design to expand Jamestown High School would cost another $579,174. Lafayette High expansion plans were pre-approved in the last CIP. In 2021, the design will be created for $471,211.

The total cost of the proposed 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan is about $94.5 million. More than 70 percent of that budget, about $66 million, is for expansion of the high schools and construction of a new elementary school.

The committee also suggested adding three projects to 2020:

  • Demolish the well at Berkeley Middle School;
  • Redesign Jamestown High School’s entrance;
  • Repair Warhill High School’s track.

All three projects were suggested based on urgency and safety concerns, according to Barnes. For example, Warhill’s track was damaged recently by inclement weather and needs to be repaired so students have a safe place to practice and host track meets.

Want to attend?

The public hearing on the Capital Improvement Plan will be held at the next School Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 in building F of the James City County Complex on 101 Mounts Bay Road.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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