New Kent purchases 86.8 acres next to George Watkins Elementary to prep for growth

New Kent is preparing for more growth with the purchase of 86.8 acres for a possible school.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion for county administrator Rodney Hathaway to execute a purchase/sales agreement of $700,000 on March 11.

The land is adjacent to George W. Watkins Elementary School, although the county does not see any construction for another eight to 10 years, according to Hathaway.

“The goal is that when we reach the point for a new middle or high school facility that the land can accommodate that,” Hathaway said. “We would have a similar campus like we do at the courthouse, with all schools next to each other.”

Hathaway said the time frame could change if another large subdivision is approved for the county.

The funds for the purchase will come from the county’s school construction set aside fund of $2.2 million. The fund receives appropriations annually, and the county has been setting money aside in the fund for the past four years, according to Hathaway.

Hathaway said he anticipates $2.5 million being appropriated to the fund in fiscal year 2020.

Division Superintendent David Myers said a middle school would only use 40-50 acres, leaving room for other assets for the division.

The county recently purchased 15.1 acres for a new elementary school, referred to as New Kent Elementary three, across from the Quinton Community Center for $375,000, with the board approving a purchase agreement on Feb. 27.

Myers, who will be stepping down April 24 to take a position at the state Department of Education, said he’s glad to have been part of acquiring land for future schools.

“I’m very much looking forward to discussing the process in the coming weeks, especially for New Kent Elementary three,” Myers said. “We will have some new information in the next few weeks on the elementary school.”

Luck can be reached at 757-291-2038, or @ashleyrluck on Twitter

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