Hello everyone, as soon as we finished the budget process, we also finalized discussion on our capital improvement plan. Here are excerpts from the transmittal letter we sent to the county after the school board adopted their priorities:
The School Board unanimously approved their Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) priorities during its regularly scheduled meeting on February 12, 2013. In creating these priorities, we involve our facilities committee, including members of the county staff, and we thank all of them for their time invested in this project. The priorities that the School Board adopted are:
Need 1 – Address Elementary School needs through either a new school building or the renovation of Goochland Elementary School; however, we would like to continue evaluating the purchase of an existing elementary school (i.e. Rudlin Torah Academy) to meet enrollment capacity needs until debt service capacity allows a new or renovated elementary school.
Need 2 – Address Transportation Facility needs through the most cost effective manner, such as the purchase of the Oilville facility or building a new facility on Bulldog Way.
Need 3 – Address Career and Technical Education programming and capacity needs through an addition (i.e. “wing”) at Goochland High School or the renovation of the Specialty Center.
NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
While these are not necessarily in prioritized order and represent the overall facility needs of the school division, there is a general sense of urgency to address the needs of the central elementary school, currently Goochland Elementary School. The Board believes a new school will be needed in the near future and affirms that the existing facility is in desperate need of renovation and upgrade. The Board understands that we may have to withhold existing CIP funds intended for schools in order to secure a reserve of funds that would be set aside for the purpose of constructing a new school even if it were outside of the typical 5-year CIP window.
Based on the number of recorded and unrecorded lots in Districts 4 and 5, the greatest amount of growth likely in our county will be in the Randolph District. Our projections indicate that even moderate growth in the number of students at Randolph Elementary School could put Randolph over programmatic capacity in the near future.
The Rudlin Torah Academy facility offers a unique opportunity and the Board would like to continue to explore the possibility of purchasing it. Further estimation of capacity and program use, as well as a thorough analysis of a costs/benefits are necessary. The Board requested that this project be included in the CIP, but not at the expense of new construction.
NEW BUS GARAGE
Another unique opportunity is the purchase of an existing facility in Oilville to serve as a new location for our bus garage and potentially our maintenance team. As long as the cost of the facility remains significantly below the cost of new construction and the condition of the building can sustain our needs for as much as 15 years, we believe that the Oilville facility will meet our needs and we would support any decision to purchase this facility on our behalf.
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION
Our third needs is based on planned growth in course offerings for Career and Technical Education (CTE) in all schools, but primarily for Middle School and High School students. CTE programs such as carpentry and building trades, HVAC, etc., require large and safe spaces to operate and we will need to expand beyond what we have at the GMS/GHS complex currently. We recognize that an addition to GHS is the best option; however, knowing the expense related to a new elementary school, we would not want the expense of the CTE expansion to get in the way of a new elementary school and we believe a renovation of the specialty center could meet our needs if GES was moved out of the specialty center completely, such as to a new facility on Bulldog Way.
We look forward to a partnership of providing safe and quality facilities for our students.