School board approves funds for East End High School

By Laura Geller - bio | email

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A surprise Thursday for Henrico parents: The County will be getting a new high school in the East End.

For months, they tried brochures, fliers, an email list of 5,000, even a Facebook page to get out the message, the East End needs funding for a new high school. Thursday, that campaign paid off as the school board voted to allocate stimulus funds for the project.

These words from School Board Member Diana Winston surprised one group of parents: "I would like to make a the following motion, that we designate $2.5 million of the state fiscal stabilization fund for planning of the east area high school."

"We are so, so excited! We are so excited! This is a wonderful thing," said Group organizer and East End parent Tara Adams.

The splotches of red in solidarity became a sea of smiles as parents got the results they've been working towards.

"They heard the people. The people stood up. The school board stood up. And it's done! And we're excited!," said Adams.

The East End hasn't seen a new high school in fifty years. The board decided to start the process of planning for a new one using stimulus funds instead of the $54 million that had been a point of contention.

Angela Johnson's three youngest children will likely attend the new school.

"We're all a community over here. We're into recreation ball and we see the other kids, the other schools. It's much needed. It's not just for ours but for all the children in the community," said Johnson.

The $2.5 million will be taken from a pot of $14 million in stimulus funds designated for school construction. The board expects to see that money in July.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.